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To investigate how voltage affects the amount of a copper (Cu) deposited during electrolysis of copper sulphate solution (CuSO4).

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Introduction

Electrolysis Investigation (Coursework) Aim To investigate how voltage affects the amount of a copper (Cu) deposited during electrolysis of copper sulphate solution (CuSO4). Variables TEMPERATURE - Approximately 20� centigrade. The higher the temperature, the faster the ions move through the solution. Thus, more copper is deposited in the given time period. ELECTROLYTE (CONCENTRATION) - 100g per litre. The denser the solution, the slower the reaction. The slower the reaction, the less copper is deposited in the given time period. VOLTAGE - (Input / Key Variable) 1-5 volts. The higher the voltage, the faster the ions move. The faster ions move, the more copper is deposited in the given time period. TIME - 1 minute. The longer the ions have to move, the more copper is deposited. ELECTRODES (AREA) - 211.2cm�. The larger the electrode, the more copper can be deposited on it and faster. ELECTRODES (DISTANCE APART) - 5cm. ...read more.

Middle

electrodes (211.2cm� each) in a beaker, 5cm apart. I will add 200ml of copper sulphate (CuSO4) solution (until 84cm� of each electrode is covered). I will attach a power pack and an ammeter and set the voltage to 1 volt. I will then simultaneously start a timer and turn on the power. After 1 minute I will turn off the power and remove the negative electrode, use acetone to help dry it then dry it fully in an oven. Next it will be weighed again and it's current weight taken away from its weight before electrolysis. The result will tell me how much copper has been deposited (in grams) after 1 minute and at 1 volt. I will repeat this whole process but with 2 volts, 3 volts, 4 volts and 5. Apparatus * D.C. power supply - for providing the power for the experiment. * Ammeter - for measuring the amount of current flowing though the circuit. ...read more.

Conclusion

The results may have not entirely been accurate - some of the ions would not have "stuck" to the cathode and would have fallen to the bottom of the solution. The surrounding temperature would have changed during the experiment and the electrodes should have been cleaner (they had irremovable "dirt" from other experiments on them) if the experiment was to be entirely accurate. However, I can only see two feasible changes which could have improved the procedure; firstly, I should have kept, or found a way to keep the electrodes more stable as their movement could have affected the results. Secondly, I should have taken a little more care with the electrode during transport as the anomaly below shows: Anomaly: At some point in the transportation of the negative electrode which had been electrolysed at five volts in the third experiment some of the deposited copper seems to have been lost or disturbed; the amount of copper had gone down from when it was tested at four volts. I would have expected to get results of between 0.21 and 0.26 grams. ...read more.

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