Understanding The Electrolysis Process Essay

2018 words - 8 pages

What is Electrolysis? Electrolysis is a chemical change brought about by the passing of an electric current through a solution or melt. It is also used to produce alkalis and elements such as chlorine and hydrogen. The process involves the addition (oxidation) or subtraction (reduction) of ions in elements. The electric current motions the ions to proceed onto the electrodes. For example, the cations (positive ions) move to the negative electrode (cathode) and the positive electrode (anode) will receive the negative ions (anions). This process, both regular and vise-versa can only be done with the use of an electrolytic cell. The Electrolysis process contains many different components that make this possible. Each and every component is necessary and each plays a certain role. Understanding what each is and what each does is critical in being able to comprehend the Electrolysis process. To be able to use the electrolysis process, one must be able to fully understand half equations. One must be able to write such equations to show what exactly happens during electrolysis. Electrolysis is a very complex process which in turn nurtures the fact that we have to study in order to understand every little detail.
First to completely understand the electrolysis process, one must start from the basics, electrons. Electrons play a big role in the electrolysis progression. They are in every step along the way, and knowing what they do and how they work will help a considerable amount in understanding this very complicated process. Electrons, by definition, are negatively charged particles found in the atom. Neutrons and protons inside the atom accompany them. Electrons are extremely small, and by combining all of them, they give off a negative charge that cancels out with the positive charges given off by the protons. Considering that the electrons are microscopic, they weigh about one thousand times less than its counterpart, the proton. The electron, which is inside the atom, however, is separate from the proton and neutron. The electron, instead, has its own cloud surrounding the nucleus called the electron cloud. The ways the electrons are organized are considered to be in shells. In the first shell only two electrons are able to fit, this being the smallest number in all the shells. In the second shell up to eight electrons may coexist. As for the third and fourth shells, there can be eighteen and thirty-two electrons respectively. In each shell, the number of electrons that are able to coexist, increases by eighteen. The shape of each shell changes depending on how many electrons the atom has. If the atom has a high atomic number, than it will have more electrons. Consequently the atom will end up having more shell in its electron cloud. The atoms shape will, in turn, become more complex considering all the sub portals that are brought about due to the high atomic number. Concerning chemical bonds, electrons are critical in all bonds being created....

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