Electrolysis Research Paper

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Chemical decomposition can be defined as the separation of chemical compounds into smaller, simpler compounds (New World Encyclopedia, 2009). It is often considered an undesirable outcome of a chemical reaction. Radiation, humidity, heat, and acidity affect the stability of chemical compounds. Molecules, when put under harsh environmental conditions may break up into smaller particles. Decomposition can also be defined as the breakdown of one phase into two or more phases. Thermal, electrolytic, and catalytic reactions are the three main types of decomposition reactions. All chemical reactions where the oxidation numbers of atoms are changed are called redox reactions. Acid-base reactions hold similar characteristics that redox reactions do. Basically, redox reactions can be described as a group of reactions that focus on the transfer of electrons. Similarly to acid-base reaction, a reduction reaction must be happening simultaneously with an oxidation reaction (Masterton, 2008). A loss of electron is called oxidation while reduction is an increase of electrons. Electrons are transferred to the oxidant on redox processes. The reducing agent in the reaction loses electrons and is therefore oxidized. The oxidizing agent is reduced when it gains electrons. A redox pair is the oxidizing and reducing agents involved in a specific reaction. The section of chemistry that focus solely on chemical reaction that take place in a solution at the interface of an ionic conductor and electron conductor, and where electron transfer is involved, is called Electrochemistry (Grimshaw, 2000). In electrolysis, where a chemical reaction is conducted by an external voltage, it is called an electrochemical reaction. Electrochemistry focuses on situations that involve oxidation and reduction reactions that are separated but connected by an external electric circuit. The decomposition of water into oxygen and hydrogen gas, where an electric current is being passed through the water, is...
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