AQA Chemistry C2 Electrolysis

Topics: Sodium chloride, Hydrogen, Electrolysis Pages: 4 (894 words) Published: October 22, 2013
Electrolysis
a) Electrolysis is the decomposition of a substance to give simpler substances. The substance being electrolysed has to be an ionic compound. b) The substance being decomposed is called the electrolyte. c) In electrolysis the electric current enters and leaves the electrolyte by conducting rods called electrodes. The positive electrode is called the anode and the negative electrode is called the cathode. d) For electrolysis to occur the electrolyte must be in liquid form so that the ions are free to move. e) In electrolysis the negative ions move towards the anode. When they get there they lose electrons to form neutral atoms. The positive ions move towards the cathode. When they get there they gain electrons to form neutral atoms Electrolysis is the process by which ionic substances are broken down into simpler substances using electricity. During electrolysis, metals and gases may form at the electrodes. To understand electrolysis, you need to know what an ionic substance is. Ionic substances form when a metal reacts with a non-metal. They contain charged particles called ions. For example, sodium chloride forms when sodium reacts with chlorine. It contains positively charged sodium ions and negatively charged chloride ions. Ionic substances can be broken down by electricity. Electrolysis is the process by which ionic substances are decomposed (broken down) into simpler substances when an electric current is passed through them. For electrolysis to work, the ions must be free to move. Ions are free to move when an ionic substance is dissolved in water or molten (melted). For example, if electricity is passed through copper chloride solution, the copper chloride is broken down to form copper metal and chlorine gas.

Here is what happens during electrolysis:
Positively charged ions move to the negative electrode during electrolysis. They receive electrons and are reduced. Negatively charged ions move to the positive electrode during...
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