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Electrolysis of Copper Chloride

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Introduction

ELECTROLYSIS OF COPPER CHLORIDE INTRODUCTION This investigation is aimed to monitor the quantity of Copper (Cu) metal deposited during the electrolysis of copper chloride solution (CuSo4) using Carbon electrodes, when only a specific variable is changed. The passing of a constant electric current through an aqueous copper chloride solution indicates that the passage of ions through this solution results in the chloride ions moving to the anode while positive copper ions (cations) being discharged at the cathode. This statement is empowered by the ionic theory of electrolysis, which states that the cations are attracted to the cathode and anions towards the anode. At the anode (+): Cl? ions lose an electron to the positive anode and form a neutral chlorine atom. Cl? Cl + e? The chlorine atoms then join up in pairs to form molecules of chlorine gas, Cl2. These molecules of chlorine gas now bubble off at the anode. Cl + Cl = Cl2 The complete half reaction is: 2Cl? Cl2 + 2e? At the cathode there is preferential discharge of ions, according to the position of the element is the reactivity series. When aqueous copper salts are electrolysed, the cations present are the solution of hydrogen ions, which come from the water, and the copper ions. ...read more.

Middle

I can therefore predict that if I double the time of the experiment, I will therefore be doubling the charge. This statement can be supported by both of Faraday's Laws. Faraday's First Law of electrolysis states that: "The mass of any element deposited during electrolysis is directly proportional to the number of coulombs of electricity passed" Faraday's Second Law of electrolysis states that: "The mass of an element deposited by one Faraday of electricity is equal to the atomic mass in grams of the element divided by the number of electrons required to discharge one ion of the element." CHANGE IN PLAN Due to lack of time we were given the results to the experiment using the input variable concentration and copper chloride used as the electrolyte. This obviously is not the same variable as initially planned, but this would not be of great inconvenience. In this instance the time was kept constant, and the concentration was varied from 0.25 molar to 2.0 molar. 0.25M, 0.5M, 1.0M, 1.5M, 2.0M Concerning the prediction for the concentration variable, I predict that the outcome will be just the same. The relationship between the concentration of copper chloride solution and the amount of copper deposited will be directly proportional. ...read more.

Conclusion

The same electrodes and equipment should have been used throughout. This is what could explain the anomaly ("freak" result) in the graph, at 2.0 molar concentrations. The results might have been more reliable if the experiment was left on for longer, something like 10 minutes, to compensate for the errors. Though the experiment was conducted away from windows, for wind and temperature not to impede on my results, I still believe the temperature could have been another source from which we draw the anomaly. Overall I found my results, compared to my prediction, very compelling. Although there were problems associated with the experiment, I believe the results produced are reliable and convincing. Relative to the best-fit line, the points are very near, apart from the anomaly, which, as mentioned, was probably caused by the problems encountered with the cathode. Extending the duration of time for which the current was discharged can further enhance this specific investigation. Increasing the range of concentration variables is also another possibility to advance this experiment. I found this investigation very interesting and increasing the range of variables that were used could further enhance it. I am looking forward to investigating more of the variables in this experiment, which may or may not affect the mass of copper deposited onto the cathode, such as changing the Quantity or Temperature variable. Moudud Hussain 1 GCSE Science ...read more.

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