Introductory Chemistry: A Foundati...

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337399425



Introductory Chemistry: A Foundati...

9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
ISBN: 9781337399425
Textbook Problem

. Write the chemical equation for the overall cell reaction that occurs in a lead storage automobile battery. What species is oxidized in such a battery? What species is reduced? Why can such a battery be “recharged”?

Interpretation Introduction


The overall reaction of lead storage battery should be determined. The species that oxidized and that reduced should be determined. It is to explain why the lead storage battery can be recharged.

Concept Introduction:

The oxidation and reduction can be identified by change in oxidation state. If oxidation state of atom of an element increases, it undergoes oxidation and if it decreases, it undergoes reduction.

The general oxidation and reduction half reactions are as follows:


Here, As undergoes oxidation to form A+aq with release of 1 electron. The oxidation state of A increases from 0 to 1.



Here, B+aq undergoes reduction to form Bs with addition of 1 electron. The oxidation state of A decreases from 1 to 0.


There are lead grids in the electrodes of the lead storage battery. The porous lead, Pb is filled in the anodic grid and lead dioxide PbO2 in the cathodic grid.

The electrolyte is dilute sulphuric acid, H2SO4. During discharge of battery, the lead at anode is oxidized as follows:


Due to presence of sulfate ions in the solution from sulphuric acid, the insoluble lead sulfate precipitates at anode and overall reaction will be as follows:


The electrons produce in the reaction reduces the lead dioxide at cathode and following reaction takes place:


The formed lead ions react again with sulfate ions to form lead sulfate and overall reaction at cathode will be:


Thus, the overall reaction for discharging of lead storage battery is as follows:


This battery can be recharged because in the charged state, the negative plate has lead in elemental state and positive plate has lead oxide

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