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An Investigation into Electrolysis - Copper Sulphate.

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Introduction

An Investigation into Electrolysis - Copper Sulphate Introduction Decomposition caused by electricity is called electrolysis. The electrical energy causes a chemical change. When a salt is dissolved in water, its ions become free to move so the solution can be "electrolyzed." The products of the electrolysis depend on the chemical solution, its strength and the type of electrode. The cathode is negatively charged and therefore attracts to it positive ions. E.g. hydrogen. The more reactive substance stays in the solution whereas the less reactive is released and appears as a gas (hydrogen) or a coating of metal. At the anode (positively charged) the negative charges are given up; for example chlorine or oxygen ions become elements. Electrolysis is used to produce gases or purify metals. PLAN Aim: To find out if the current being transferred through copper sulphate affects the amount of copper transferred. Prediction: I predict that as the amount of electrical current is passed through the copper sulphate solution more copper will be transferred. I also predict that the rise in electrical current and the rise in copper transferred will be related, and follow a trend. e.g. I believe that as the current doubles so will the amount of copper transferred. E.g. ...read more.

Middle

* Weigh the anodes original weight and make note of this. * Clip the copper plates to the sides of the beaker, making sure they are in the copper sulphate solution. * Connect the power pack and ammeter to the copper plates, creating a circuit. * Adjust the ammeter to display the correct readings. * Switch on the power pack and adjust the current. * Leave the current to pass through the copper sulphate for 5 minutes and weight the anode, again making note of this. * Repeat the last stage. Safety: Copper sulphate is an irritant so I will be careful not to get it on my hands or eyes. Goggles will be worn to prevent it going in my eyes. Fair test: In order to carry out a fair test, the only variable to be changed will be the current (amount of electricity) passing through the copper sulphate solution. The experiment carried out aimed to monitor the quantity of Copper (Cu) metal deposited during the electrolysis of Copper Sulphate solution (CuSo4) using Copper electrodes, when certain variables were changed. It was considered that the following factors could affect the deposition of Copper metal on the cathode. 1. Time 2. Current 3. Temperature 4. ...read more.

Conclusion

It has also been discovered that the copper anode releases copper ions and electrons, which form copper at the cathode. Evaluation Although this was a successful experiment, there were some factors of the experiment, which could have been improved to make it even more successful. One of these factors could have been the electrodes, which, even after a good clean were still quite dirty and obviously still had irremovable substances from previous experiments still attached to them. If this experiment were to be repeated for a second time, in need of greater accuracy, it would be imperative to have a new pair of electrodes, which have never been used before. Another factor which may have affected the overall outcome of the investigation may have been the fact that the practical work of the investigation was carried over from lesson to lesson, meaning that variables such as the concentration or the amount of the Copper Sulphate solution could have changed between lessons. To overcome this problem, a stock solution of Copper Sulphate should have been made so as the concentration remained the same at all times. The same electrodes and equipment should have been used throughout. Also, when weighing, the same electrical balance should have been used as there may have been slight differences between the two balances. This is what could explain the anomaly in the graph. ...read more.

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