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IGCSE Chemistry - Electrolysis

IGCSE Chemistry - Electrolysis

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Published by ChemistryKlipz
Notes on how electrolysis works, for ionic compounds in solution and when molten.
Notes on how electrolysis works, for ionic compounds in solution and when molten.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: ChemistryKlipz on Apr 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/26/2014

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Electrolysis
 
Electrolysisis using anelectric currentto break up anioniccompoundto form elements.
 
Covalent compounds can’t be split
up by electrolysis.
Terms used in electrolysis:Electrolyte
- the compound which is being broken down. Must contain ions, and the ionsmust be free to move (i.e. the substance must be a liquid/solution.Test: the solution ormolten substance will conduct electricity if it is an electrolyte.
Anode
 
 –
the positive electrode, to which negative ions, referred to as
anions
will beattracted.
Cathode
 
 –
the negative electrode, to which positive ions, known as
cations
will be attractedElectrodes are normally madeout of 
inert
(unreactive)materials.
Graphite
and
platinum
arecommon electrode materials.
 
O
xidation
I
s
L
oss
R
eduction
I
s
G
ainof electrons
Because both reduction and oxidation take place at the same time, electrolysis is a
REDOX
 reaction.During electrolysis, the positive ions travel to the negative electrode. Here they receiveelectrons which turns them from positive ions back into atoms. The negative ions travel tothe positive electrode. Here they give up electrons to become atoms.
 
a half-equation
Electrolysis of molten ionic compounds
e.g. molten copper(II) chloride, CuCl
2
2) At the cathode:
This negatively charged electrode attracts the
Cu
2+
ions
The cathode gives 2 electrons to each
Cu
2+
ion
The
Cu
2+
ions become
Cu
atoms and are deposited on thecathode
Cu
2+(l)
+ 2e
-
 
Cu
(s)
1)What ions are present ? 
Cu
2+
and
Cl
-
ions3) At the anode:
This positively charged electrode attracts the
Cl
-
ions
The anode takes 1 electron from each
Cl
-
ion
The
Cl
-
ions become
Cl
atoms, which bond in pairs as
Cl
2
Bubbles of chlorine gas appear at the anode
 
2Cl
-
 
Cl
2
+ 2e
-
the other half-equation
copper chloride
copper + chlorineCuCl
2(l)
 
Cu
(s)
+ Cl
2(g)
4) Overall:

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