The Electrolysis of Sodium Chloride.

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Krishaan Siva – L6CMK

The Electrolysis of Sodium Chloride

Electrolysis is a process by which electrical currents can be passed through solutions. Pure water is a non-conductor of electricity. But if a salt such as NaCl is dissolved in it, the solution will start conducting if two electrodes are placed in it along with a battery that provides the initial current.  

Background Knowledge

When an electric current is passed through a chemical compound, some compounds are able to conduct electricity.  The compound dissociates into ions under the influence of the electric current. The electrical current initiates a chemical reaction or a break up. The sodium chloride or brine is an electrolyte. An electrolyte is a compound that allows electric current to pass through itself, when either in a molten state or in an aqueous solution

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  • Aqueous sodium chloride (brine)
  • Wires
  • Crocodile clips
  • Light Bulb
  • Electrodes
  • Test tubes x 3
  • 12V battery pack


We took two lead electrodes, a 12V battery pack, a bulb and some wires. We put the sodium chloride into a special beaker that contained the two lead electrodes. We then took two more small test tubes and put them over the electrodes so that we could collect the chlorine and the hydrogen gas that would be given off during the process. We had to make sure that the two smaller test tubes were not ...

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