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

. What are some important uses of electrolysis?

Interpretation Introduction


Some important uses of electrolysis should be explained.

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.


The production of many metals and non-metals is done by electrolysis. The examples of metal and non-metals are magnesium, aluminium, fluorine and chlorine.

This is done to coat one metal on other. The method involved the electric current and the process is known as electroplating. The coated object is cathode. The metal that needs to be deposited is anode. The dissolved salt of metal to be coated forms the electrolyte. Cathode attracts the metal ions or positive ions these ions move towards the metal on which it needs to be deposited.

The metals can be coated with other metal that cannot be corroded easily to form a protected layer. Mostly, chromium and nickel are used for this coating.

The use of electrolysis is as follows:

Purification of copper:

The copper sulfate solution is used as an electrolyte for purification of copper. The anode is impure copper and cathode is pure copper. In the process, impure copper decomposes and copper ion Cu2+ goes into the solution.

The oxidation reaction is as follows:

Anode: CusCu2+aq+2e

The reduction reaction is as follows:

Cathode: Cu2+<

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