Electrolytic Cells

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AP ChemistryBrockport High School NY USA
Electrolytic CellsMr Keefer

INTRODUCTION:
Electrochemical cells can be divided into two main groups. Voltaic cells are capable of producing electric current. Electrolytic cells rely upon an external source of current to bring about a chemical reaction. Electroplating precious metals (gold, silver, or platinum) onto base metals is an example of this type of process.

In this experiment copper will be plated on to an electrode using a battery as the external source of energy. The reaction will be timed, and the current passing through the cell will be measured using a multimeter or an ammeter. From the data collected, it will be possible to predict the mass of copper that should be deposited on one of the electrodes. This value will be compared with the value obtained from the experimental trial.

The purpose of this experiment is to predict the mass of copper that is deposited on an electrode in an electrolytic cell. This value will be compared with the experimental value and the percent error will be calculated.

Equipment/Materials:
0.5 M CuSO450 mL beaker
copper electrodespower source (5-6 Volts)
3 clip leadsmultimeter
acetonebalance (3 decimal place)

Procedure:
1. Obtain two strips of copper to be used as the electrodes. Clean the surface with steel wool or fine sandpaper before proceeding. 2. Label each electrode to help in recording their masses at the beginning and end of the experiment. 3. Measure the mass of each electrode, and record the masses on your data sheet. 4. Pour about 35 mL of the copper sulfate solution into the 50 mL beaker. Place the copper electrodes in the solution, and adjust them so that they do not touch each other. 5. Set the multimeter to the setting suggested by your instructor. 6. Complete setting up the circuit. Use the clip leads to attach the battery to the cell. The multimeter must also be in the...
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