Electrochemical Cells Using The Nernst Equation

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INTRODUCTION The premise and focus of experiment 9 – Electrochemistry was to demonstrate the potential, in volts, that can be generated by electrochemical cells and how to calculate the theoretical potential of those electrochemical cells using the Nernst equation. Of the electrochemical cells used, there were two different types, voltaic and concentration. Voltaic cells are composed of two half-cells with differing electrodes and solutions that result in a spontaneous flow of electrons from one half-cell to the other half-cell until equilibrium is met. In Voltaic cells, this flow of electrons is driven by redox reactions and the reduction potential of the half-cells. Concentration cells are composed of half-cells with identical…show more content…
This oxidation increases the oxidation state of the atom while the reduction of an atom causing the oxidation state to decrease. Whenever an atom is oxidized, there is a corresponding oxidizing agent that oxidized the atom, likewise there is a corresponding reducing agent whenever an atom is reduced. During redox reactions, the oxidized atom tends to be the reducing agent and the reduced atom tends to be the oxidizing agent. When balancing a redox reaction, it is separated into two half-reactions, the oxidation process and the reduction process. These two half-reactions are then balanced based on the number of electrons being transferred and then combine to find the overall equation for the reaction. Electrochemical cells are devices that can generate electrical energy through the transfer of electrons.3 They are composed of two half-cells that are separated except by a circuit and a salt bridge. Each of the half-cells consist of a solution of ions, called an electrolyte, with an electrode, which is typical a metal or a compound that is conductive, submerged in the electrolyte. Of the two electrodes in an electrochemical cell, one is considered an anode and the other is considered the cathode. This is determined by where oxidation and reduction is occurring in the cell. The
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