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Topic : Effect of concentration of

an electrolyte on the e.m.f. and

internal resistance of a primary

BY :

To study the effect of concentration of an electrolyte on

electromotive force and internal resistance of a primary
cell .

• Primary Cell (Lechlanche Cell)

• Carbon rod (Positive Electrode)

• Porous Pot

• Glass Vessel

• Electrolyte (Ammonium Electrode)

• Zinc Rod (Negative Electrode)

• Battery

• Potentiometer

• Connecting Wire

• 2 Volt Battery
Electromotive force is defined as the maximum potential
difference that can exist between the terminals of a cell
when the cell is in open circuit.

The unit of electromotive force is Volts

Dimensional formula of electromotive force is MLT

E = I (r + R)


E – Electromotive force of the cell

R – Resistance
r – Internal Resistance
I – Current passing through the cell

1. First make the circuit diagram. Make the

connections accordingly.

2. To test the correctness of the connection, insert the

plug in the key K1. Now, by making the sliding
contact at P & Q. Note the direction of the
deflection in the galvanometer. If the deflection in
the galvanometer is in mutually opposite direction
then the connections are correct. If the deflection in
the two cases is in same direction then either the
connections are wrong or E.M.F of auxillary
battery is less. Correct it.

3. Now take out 2000 ohm resistance from the

resistance box. Join along with galvanometer,
adjust the rheostat, so that a null point is obtained
on the forth wire of potentiometer. Introduce the
2000 ohm resistance plug in its position in the
resistance box and by slightly adjusting the jockey
near the previous obtained position of the null
point, obtain a sharp position of null point. Measure
the balancing length from the end (P). Let it be l1.
Again take out plug it into K2. Lower down the
resistance, slide the jockey along the wire, and
obtain the null point. Introduce 2000 ohm resistance,
length from end be l2.

4. Make simultaneous readings.

5. Remove the plug.

6. Wait some time; repeat the experiment, in every

part different resistances must be taken.

The electrolyte is a paste of ammonium chloride

containing some zinc chloride. Positive electrode
Carbon rod is surrounded by mixture of manganese
dioxide, which prevents the formation of gaseous
hydrogen, which could polarize the cell, thus acting as
anti polarizing agent and powder carbon is used as
internal resistance of the cell. Negative electrode is zinc

When external circuit is connected across cell, Zinc

atom in contact with electrode ionizes, losing two
electrons per atom, the electrons flow into the solution,
the Zinc is thus Cathode.

Zn → Zn2+ + 2e-

The Ammonium ions of the electrolyte remove electrons

from the carbon anode to which the electrons flow in
from the external circuit, one thus has:

2NH4+ + 2e- → 2NH3 + H2

At the anode the hydrogen is neutralized by manganese
dioxide at the anode and in the body of electrolyte. The
Zinc ion combines with chloride ions to form chloride,
so that the overall chemical reaction is:

Zn + 2NH4Cl + 2MnO2 → ZnCl2 + 2NH3 + H2O +Mn2O3

Q being the energy released per formula units of

reactance .This is the finally the chemical reaction,
which releases the energy (and dissolved ammonia as
well as water into the electrolyte). The reaction involves
migration of ions into and out of electrolyte and thus the
energy is lost of course in making the flow inside the
cell be reduced by proper choice of material as well as
of the size and shape of cell. The e.m.f of the dry cell is
1.5 volts. Its internal resistance can vary from 0.1 to 10

S.No. Amount Concentration E.M.F(Volts) Internal

of Water of Electrolyte Resistance

1. 150 ml 1.00 M 2.328 5.37

2. 150 ml 1.00 M 1.987 6.28
3. 150 ml 0.50 M 1.564 8.54
4. 150 ml 0.20 M 1.478 9.8
5. 150 ml 0.05 M 1.264 14.6
The electromotive force is inversely proportional to the
change in concentration of electrolyte.


• Adjust the rheostat for null point.

• E.M.F. (Battery) >> E.M.F. (Cell).

• During on set, Ammeter reading should be


• Current should be for short time.

• Jockey should not be rugged.