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Electrolysis of Copper Sulphate

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Electrolysis of Copper Sulphate By Ali Hlaiyil Introduction/Initial Research: Electrolysis is the production of useful elements as compounds by using electrical energy and converting it into chemical energy. The reaction takes place when electricity is passed through a circuit, which at one point is split by 2 electrodes, which are dipped into a solution called the electrolyte. The electrodes must be made of a conductive metal, that wither needs to be plated, or is needed in the production of Hydrogen, or other gases. The electrolyte which is a compound solution made up of many elements, is split up into individual elements or even small compounds when the electricity is turned on and passed through the electrodes and into the water. When this happens, the positive ions move towards the negative anode, and the negative ions in the mixture move to the now positive cathode. At the cathode an element is collected, and usual plates the electrode, the thickness of the plating being determined by the power of the current and the length of time that the electrolysis reaction goes on for. ...read more.


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 (the current in our case)." 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." Apparatus: 1. D.C Power Supply 2. Ammeter 3. Copper Electrodes 4. Circuit Wire 5. Crocodile Clips 6. Beaker 7. Copper Sulphate Electrolyte 8. Top pan balance Variables: Independent: Time of current flowing through circuit Dependant: Mass of electrodes Control: Current Initial Size/Mass of electrodes Amount of electrolyte used Temperature Method: Measurements used: 0min, 5min, 10min, 15min, 20min, and 25min. Readings used: weight of electrodes Current: 5v Test Repeated: 2 readings per strip (2 strips were used). The electrolyte (50cm3 of Copper Sulphate Solution) was poured into a small beaker. The 2 copper electrodes were thoroughly cleaned. The electrodes were weighed, their masses recorded and then they were placed into the beaker containing the electrolyte. ...read more.


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 electrodes, the same electrical top-pan balance should have been used as there may have been slight differences between the two balances. This is what could explain any anomalous results. In future experiments I would like to investigate and go further into electrolysis, and look at and test other factors including the current, temperature, concentration, quantities and sizes, and distances between electrodes that affect the rate of electrolysis. An interesting test would be the test for different currents, and for different temperatures, as these are fairly simple and can be conducted easily in my school laboratory. This would allow me to investigate further into electrolysis, and be able to identify the proportions and similarities that the rate of electrolysis depends on. I found the investigation to be very interesting, and I am looking forward to investigating the other variables and factors for the experiment. ...read more.

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