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Importance of electrolysis in our daily lives

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Introduction

Importance of electrolysis in our daily lives INTRODUCTION In 1800, two Englishmen, William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle, used an electric current to decompose water into its element, hydrogen and oxygen. This is an example of electrolysis. Electrolysis is the process of using electricity to break down or decompose a compound. It has a few main components - a battery, electrodes and an electrolyte. There are many applications of electrolysis. Electroplating is one of the main areas where electrolysis is implemented. ELECTROPLATING It is the coating of one metal over the other which is called electroplating. It is done for few reasons to benefit us: 1. Resistance to corrosion and increased life span 2. Provision of insulation 3. Better appearance for e.g. chrome, nickel or silver can produce a mirror like finish Resistance to corrosion and increased life span: A coat of one less valuable metal on a more valuable metal can be very beneficial. For example if zinc is electroplated on iron then it would protect iron from getting corroded and would ensure proper usage. Provision of insulation: Insulating materials can be electroplated for safety of living organisms. Plastic for example can be electroplated on copper or aluminum for protection from shocks. Better appearance: this one of the most common method used for everyday life coating. Electroplating of silver, chrome or nickel protects the base metal from corrosion, or scratches as well as provides a shiny attractive appearance for decorations or jewelry. ELECTROTYPING This is a much of a decorative or labelling where a wax figure is made of desired shape and coated ...read more.

Middle

The walls of the oven function as a cathode and blocks of carbon hanging from above works as an anode. When there is current through the melted aluminum oxide the aluminum ions will move towards the cathode where they will gain electrons and become aluminum metal. The negative oxygen ions will move towards the anode and will there give away some of their electrons and form oxygen and other compounds. The electrolysis of aluminum oxide demands a lot of energy and with modern technology the energy consumption is 12-14 kWh per kg of aluminum (Kofstad). Electroplating is another use of electrolysis. In electroplating electrolysis is used to put a thin layer of a certain metal over another metal. This is especially useful if you want to prevent corrosion in certain metals, for example iron. Electroplating is done by using the metal you want to have coated in a specific metal act as the cathode in the electrolysis of a solution. The cation of this solution would then be the metal that is wanted as a coating for the cathode. When current then is applied to the solution, the positive cations will move towards the negative cathode where they will gain electrons and form a thin coating around the cathode. To prevent corrosion in certain metals, zinc is often used as the coating metal. Electroplating can also be used to improve the appearance of metals. Using a silver solution will coat a metal with a thin layer of silver so the metal appears to be silver (Christensen). ...read more.

Conclusion

SOCIAL ISSUES Due to electrolysis or electroplating, people can be affected in many ways. Pollution can cause any disease to any one on a general basis, however due to electroplating there can be occupational asthma. People living around those people can get affected too spreading the disease to others and the society. However the electrochemical or electrolysis field has increased the job opportunities for the people and thus developing the country. CONCLUSION Electrolysis has a major use in our day to day life, because it provides several products as well as makes us looks good and satisfied. It provides a fuel, as in hydrogen and gives us extra life, as for the oxygen. It is true that there are disadvantages for electrolysis, like giving us scars, creating pollution or increases the time required for making one product however it has so many good effects too, like providing permanent hair loss to most people as well as give a lustrous look to a dull metal or even provide electricity in emergency or mobile devices. I think without electrolysis our life would be incomplete. Electrolysis plays an important role in modern life. Whether it is production of aluminum, electroplating metals, or producing certain chemical compounds, the process of electrolysis is essential in the daily life of most people. It has been developed thoroughly since its discovery in 1800 and will probably become even more important in the future. The world needs a substitute for fossil fuels and hydrogen seems to be the best candidate. In the future this hydrogen will need to be produced by electrolysis. The process will be improved and will become even more important in daily life than it is now. ...read more.

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