• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Background information on Electrolysis.

Extracts from this document...


Background information on Electrolysis Electrolysis is a chemical process by which electrical currents can be passed through solutions. Pure water cannot conduct electricity, but if a salt such as Sodium Chloride is dissolved in it, the solutions will start conducting if two electrodes are placed in it with a battery that provides the initial current. When we close the switch, copper ions on the anode will start to move through the solution to the cathode. The copper atoms have already given up two electrons to become ions and their electrons are free to move in the wires. Closing the switch pushes electrons clockwise and forces some copper ions into the solution. ...read more.


To prove that electricity is flowing through the current, we could add a working bulb to the circuit. If the is a current flowing, the bulb will light up, but if there is no current flowing through the circuit, the bulb will not light up. This is shown in a diagram below. However, if there is a current, but it is quite a low voltage, the bulb may not light up, despite there being an active current present. We could overcome this problem by adding an ammeter to the circuit. This would mean that the ammeter would be able to show us whether there was a current in the circuit, and how strong the current is. ...read more.


Aluminium The aluminium oxide is a white solid but it does not melt very easily. In order to overcome this, it is dissolve in a molten rock called cryolite.The cell is lined with graphite (carbon) as the cathode, and graphite blocks are used as the anode. At the cathode aluminium is formed according to the equation: Al3+ + 3e- ----------> Al Aluminium ions plus electrons form aluminium atoms (i.e. metallic aluminium) At the anode, the oxide ion reacts forming oxygen. 2O2- -----------> O2 + 4e- Two oxide ions (with a charge of minus 2) form an oxygen molecule and 4 electrons. The oxygen produced will react with the graphite anode forming carbon dioxide, a gas, so the anode slowly disappears and needs to be replaced. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Changing Materials - The Earth and its Atmosphere section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Changing Materials - The Earth and its Atmosphere essays

  1. Investigate the factors that affect the mass of Copper deposited on the Copper Cathode ...

    The results could have been improved in the following ways. Lower current values could have been used, and a wider range could have been used with smaller intervals because as the current increased it was more prone to fluctuation and with a higher current not all the ions stick to

  2. Investigating how the amount of copper affects the mass of the cathode

    I also noticed that as the mass of the cathode increases the mass of the anode decreased. To link this relationship we can say that the anode is inversely proportional to the cathode. As the anode loses its mass, that cathode gains it.

  1. Electrolysis is a powerful technique used to break down a substance by electricity. Electrolysis ...

    This theory is justified by looking at the formula; current = voltage � resistance. The physics rule, 'the longer the length of wire, the greater the resistance', can be applied to the path of the current when passing through the electrolyte.

  2. Find out how magnesium ribbon reacts with various chlorides.

    Sub-shell Electrons s 2 p 6 d 10 f 14 The table below shows the shells and sub-shells, and their configuration. Shell Sub-shell Total number of electrons 1st shell 1s 2 =2 2nd shell 2s 2p 2 + 6 =8 3rd shell 3s 3p 3d 2 + 6 + 10

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work