The Application Of Electrolysis? Essay

1600 words - 6 pages

Chemistry EssayName: Vineet BaldwaGrade: 10CQ. Write an essay on the application of Electrolysis?IntroductionBefore we go into the details of the application of electrolysis, we must first understand very clearly the process of electrolysis and how it works.The word electrolysis has been derived from the two words "Electro" meaning electricity and "lysis" meaning analysis which means separation. So just be finding the root of the word, we can understand what it means. Electrolysis means the splitting of compounds using electricity.ElectrolysisElectrolysis is the splitting up of ionic compounds into their constituents using an electric charge. However for this, the salt has to conduct electricity. However ionic compounds do not conduct electricity in solid state (because there are no free moving ions to carry the charges). However in liquid or aqueous (dissolved in water) state, where free ions can carry the charge, they can conduct electricity.We know that for current to pass through a conductor, it has to have a positive and a negative junction. The positive junction (connected to the positive end of the battery) is called an anode and the negative junction (connected to the negative end of the battery) is called a cathode. The dissolved or molten ionic compound which is to be split into its constituents is called the electrolyte. This is the simple setup of electrolysis.Electrolysis In Molten StateWhen a salt in is an aqueous or molten state, then it breaks up into its ions. For exampleNaCl (s) ( Na+ (l) + Cl- (l)These ions formed have either a negative or positive charge. Since unlike charges attract each other, the positive ions move toward the cathode (negative electrode) and are called cations and the negative ions move towards the anode (positive electrode) and are called anions.At the AnodeThe anode is the positive electrode and so negatively charged ions called anions are attracted towards it. The anions are negatively charged which means that they have an excess of electrons. These electrons are taken by the anode and so the ion is neutralized and it becomes a molecule. Thus continuing with the same example of molten Sodium Chloride, this is the reaction at the anode.2Cl- (l) - 2e- ( Cl2 (g)As you can see from the reaction, when the chloride ion touches the anode, it gets discharged and is released as chlorine gas.At the CathodeThe cathode is the negative electrode and so positively charged ions called cations are attracted to it. The cations are positively charged which means that they have a shortage of electrons. The cation takes electrons from the cathode. Then the cation is neutralized and it too becomes a molecule.Na+ (l) + e- ( Na (s)Again you can see from the reaction, when the sodium ion touches the cathode; it gets discharged and is plated onto the electrode.Electrolysis in Aqueous StateWhen an ionic compound is dissolved in water and then electrolysed, it has 2 cations and 2 anions. One cation and anion is from the salt. The...

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