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To investigate the effect of the copper anode after electrolysing it in Copper Sulphate solution for certain periods of time

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ELECTROLYSIS OF COPPER Aim: To investigate the effect of the copper anode after electrolysing it in Copper Sulphate solution for certain periods of time. Planning: Introduction: Electrolysis is the process of splitting up compounds or substances by passing an electric current through it. The substance being electrolysed is called an electrolyte. An electrolyte is a substance that cannot conduct when solid but can when molten or dissolved. In electrolysis, various equipment are involved in order to make the experiment successful. First of all, a power pack is needed. This acts as a pump to push electrons through the circuit i.e.) it provides energy. There are two electrodes involved. An electrode allows electrons to enter or leave a solution. It completes an electrical circuit. One electrode is called the Cathode, and one the Anode. The cathode is the negative electrode thus attracting the positive ions called cations. Electrons are drawn TOWARDS it. The anode on the other hand is the positive electrode thus attracting the negative ions called anions. Electrons are pulled AWAY from the anode. Here is a diagram showing the set up of this experiment: In this experiment there are several ions in solution. Copper 2+, Sulphate 2-, Hydrogen- and Hydroxide- ions. My electrodes will both be copper. Copper, being extremely low down in the reactivity series is discharged at the cathode before all ions except silver. ...read more.


In the end I tried out 1.5A of current. After electrolyzing the copper for one minute, there was a difference of 0.02 so I figured with a range of ten minutes, on average, the difference would be 0.20. this was a good and reliable range. Another thing about this experiment was that it was good because I could actually wipe the anode and remove any of the tarnish or bits that were coming off it, so weighing it was quick and easy. I think that I finally have everything set and my ranges and current are reliable and will give me accurate results. Final Method: Apparatus: * 2 copper electrodes cut out from a copper sheet. * Weighing scale/ balance * 3 wires * 1 power pack * 1 ammeter * one 250ml beaker * Copper sulphate solution * 2 crocodile clips 1 stop watch/clock Diagram: Method: 1 Weigh the anode and record weight. 2 Set up the circuit as shown above. 3 Fill the beaker with 150ml of copper sulphate. 4 Get someone to hold the electrodes while you turn the power pack and stop clock on. adjust the electrodes until you get the current to 1.5A (this can also be done by increasing the voltage on the power pack) 5 Wait for one minute and then turn the power pack off. 6 Dry the anode with a paper towel and ensure that all the tarnish comes off. ...read more.


My times are 60, 150, 300, 450, 600 seconds. Michael Faraday, an English scientist, studied the reactions which take place at the electrodes of electrolytic cells. He recognized that the mass of an element discharged at an electrode is proportional to the amount of electric charge passed through the electrode. He also found out that if the same amount of electric charge is passed through several electrodes the mass of the element discharged at each will be directly proportional to both a) the atomic mass of the electrode b) the number of moles of electrons required to discharge one mole of the element from whatever material is being discharged at the electrode. This is how charge fits into this whole experiment and that's why I drew the graph above showing that Q is proportional to T and that the gradient represents the constant, which is what I investigated, the current. Evaluation: Looking at my experiment overall, I would say that it was very successful. Although the first graph that I drew wasn't very accurate, I think that the rest of the repetitions were pretty accurate. The reason my results were accurate was because I had repeated the experiment 3 times and so spotting any anomalies would have been much easier. There were no anomalies in this experiment. The fact that the factors affecting the experiment had remained constant also contributed to the fact that my results were reliable. Hana Holdijk Chemistry SC1 January 2001 Electrolysis ...read more.

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