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Galvanic cells harness spontaneous oxidation–reduction reactions to produce work by producing a current. They do so by controlling the flow of electrons from the species oxidized to the species reduced. How is a galvanic cell designed? What is in the cathode compartment? The anode compartment? What purpose do electrodes serve? Which way do electrons always flow in the wire connecting the two electrodes in a galvanic cell? Why is it necessary to use a salt bridge or a porous disk in a galvanic cell? Which way do cations flow in the salt bridge? Which way do the anions flow? What is a cell potential and what is a volt?

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Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach

2nd Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305079243

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach

2nd Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305079243
Chapter 17, Problem 2RQ
Textbook Problem
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Galvanic cells harness spontaneous oxidation–reduction reactions to produce work by producing a current. They do so by controlling the flow of electrons from the species oxidized to the species reduced. How is a galvanic cell designed? What is in the cathode compartment? The anode compartment? What purpose do electrodes serve? Which way do electrons always flow in the wire connecting the two electrodes in a galvanic cell? Why is it necessary to use a salt bridge or a porous disk in a galvanic cell? Which way do cations flow in the salt bridge? Which way do the anions flow? What is a cell potential and what is a volt?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation:

The working of a galvanic cell involving redox reaction is given. The construction of a galvanic cell, the reactions taking place in the cell and the reason behind these reactions are to be stated.

Concept introduction:

The reactions that involve the transfer of electrons from one species to another are called redox reactions.

A galvanic cell is a device that converts the energy released during a spontaneous redox reaction into electrical energy that is used for performing the useful work.

To explain: The designing of the galvanic cell; the component present in cathode compartment; the component present in anode compartment; the use of electrodes in a galvanic cell; the direction of flow of electrons through the wire attached to the two electrodes; the significance of salt bridge or porous disk in a galvanic cell; the direction of flow of cations in the salt bridge; the direction of flow of anions in the salt bridge; and the definition of cell potential and volt.

Explanation of Solution

A galvanic cell consists of two metal electrodes that are connected externally through a metal wire through which the flow of electrons take place. These electrodes are in contact with the electrolytic solution. Internally, the solutions are connected through a salt bridge to maintain the electrical neutrality of the cell.

A galvanic cell consists of two metal electrodes. The two electrodes are assumed to be zinc and copper. These two electrodes are present in contact with the electrolyte solution of their respective salts.

Zinc electrode is present in contact with zinc sulphate solution, while copper electrode is present in contact with copper sulphate solution. These electrodes are connected externally through a wire. The zinc atoms lose electrons and get oxidized to zinc ions (Zn2+) . These (Zn2+) would go into the solution. The electrons over anode are transferred to the cathode. The copper ions (Cu2+) in the other half cell accept these electrons and get reduced. These reduced ions deposit as copper atoms over the cathode.

Figure 1

The reaction taking place in two half cell is,

ZnZn+2e-Cu2++2e-Cu

Adding the above two equations

Zn+Cu2+Zn2++Cu

Now, to maintain the electrical balance, these half cells are connected through salt bridge which transfers suitable ion to their respective half cell to neutralize the extra charge.

The cathode immersed in the electrolytic solution of its metal salt is present in the cathode compartment.

The electrons lost by anode are passed to cathode and the ions present in the electrolytic solution in cathode compartment accept these electrons and get reduced and deposit on the cathode

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Chapter 17 Solutions

Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach
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