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Energy Changes In Electrolysis Essay

1577 words - 6 pages

Chrysilla Angelia 10AChemistry - Energy Changes in ElectrolysisElectrolysis is the use of electric current to stimulate a non-spontaneous reaction. Electrolysis can be used to separate a substance into its original components (elements) and it was through this process that a number of elements have been discovered and are still produced in today's industry. Electrolysis is a process by which electric current is passed through a substance to affect a chemical change. The chemical change is one in which the substance loses or gains an electron (oxidation or reduction).Electrolysis involves the decomposition of a molten or aqueous compound by electricity. The process is carried out in an electrolytic cell, an apparatus consisting of positive and negative electro d es held apart and dipped into a solution containing positively and negatively charged ions. The compound decomposed during electrolysis is called an electrolyte. An electric current provides the energy that causes the chemical change during electrolysis. An electric current is simply a flow of electrons. In Electrolysis, an electric current it sent through an electrolyte and into solution in order to stimulate the flow of ions necessary to run an otherwise non-spontaneous reaction. Processes involving electrolysis include: electroplating, electro-refining, electro-synthesis etc.An important use of electrolytic cells is in the electroplating of silver, gold, chromium, and nickel. Electroplating is the process of depositing a layer of any desired metal on another material by means of electricity. It is one of the most common applications of chemical effects of electric current. The metal to be electroplated is made the cathode, while the anode is the other metal that has to be deposited on this metal. After passing electric current through the electrolyte, the metal from the anode is deposited on the cathode.Electroplating is basically the process of coating a metal object with a thin layer of another metal by means of electrolysis. The electroplated coating is usually no more than .05 millimetres thick. Electro-forming is a similar process except that the thin layer is applied to a non-metal that is later destroyed. Electroplating produces a very thin coating of the expensive metals, gold, silver, chromium, and nickel, on the surfaces of cheaper metals, giving them the appearance and the chemical resistance of the expensive ones. It is also to protect them from corrosion, wear, or rust. Tableware, trays, decorative pieces, and jewellery are plated with gold or silver to make them more striking. Copper is coated with chromium to protect it from corrosion. For the same reason iron and steel are plated with nickel, chromium, tin, zinc, or cadmium. Tin cans, for example, are tin-plated steel, and the chrome trim on automobiles is chromium-plated steel. Platinum, palladium, and rhodium are used to coat other metals with a hard, corrosion-resistant surface.Electroplating has advantages,...

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