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Electrolysis Investigation

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Planning Experimental Procedure Affecting Factors - A list off all the possible factors, which would affect the resistance of a cell. * Exposed Area of Electrodes - An electrode with a larger exposed (to the solution) surface area would mean, the electrodes would not limit that rate of electrolysis. The larger the surface is, the higher the rate of electrolysis, due to there being a larger amount of copper, which can ionise. The surface are of the electrodes should be maintained the same. * Purity of Electrodes - The higher the purity of the electrodes, the lower the resistance. This is because there are n other elements which could get in the way, and therefore increase the resistance of the solution. * Voltage - In all cases, increasing the voltage will decrease the resistance. In this case, the greater the voltage, the greater charge on the electrodes and so the greater the attraction for ions. This will be investigated in our preliminary tests. * Current - Based on past knowledge, increasing the current also increases the resistance, due to the build up of heat in the wire. * Concentration of Solution - The higher the concentration of the solution, the lower the resistance will be. ...read more.


* Other common sense precautions are always necessary. Do not run in class, which may result in an accident. Tie back loose hair or dangling clothing to reduce a fire risk. Tuck stools under chars while conducting an experiment, so that nothing is in the way. Method Electrodes of the same size will be cut out with scissors from sheets of copper. The electrodes will first be rubbed with sand paper, and then swilled under a tap to remove their layer of copper oxide, and any other substances which may be present and would effect electrolysis. Once they have dried, they will be places through a piece of card, the purpose of which will be to keep them precisely 2cm apart. The current and voltage will be set at the required level for the experiment taking place. The solution will then be measured to precisely in the correct proportions, using a measuring tube, into a beaker. The crocodile clips will be played on the end of the card, which will have the electrodes bent around it. The temperature of the solution will be taken (room temperature). As soon as the electrodes are placed into the solution, the power pack will be switched on. ...read more.


If was to do this experiment again, I would like to have a calmer environment and more time in which to do the experiment. Having fresh electrodes for every experiment which had been more accurately cut would irradiate any potential problems that we had there. F new ones were not possible, then a more thorough clean process would have increased the accuracy as well. A more accurate device for keeping the electrodes in the correct places would also have been useful. Fresh chopper sulphate for every experiment would also be good, as changes would have occurred to the copper in-between the first and last experiment being done. I attempted to perfect the temperature as much as possible during the experiment, however with an analogue thermometer, that is not always possible. Using a digital thermometer, or even having the experiment in a temperature-controlled environment would have increased the accuracy f the results. For further extension work I would think that looking into the other affecting factors would be a good way forwards. Once data had been collected on all of the affecting factors, a perfect condition could be created based on the results. It would then e interesting to try electrodes of different metals, to see if electrolysis is at its most efficient with them, the same as it is with copper. ...read more.

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