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Electrolytic Cells.docx

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CHEM 1050
Richard Delaat

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Electrolytic CellsElectrochemical cell in which an electric current drives an otherwise nonspontaneous reactionElectrolysis process of producing a chemical change in an electrolytic cell Electrolysis of molten saltsSalts are melted to liquids metal component of salt forms on cathode and gas evolves at the anode Aqueous ElectrolysisWhen electrolyzing aqueous solution of ionic compound must consider possibility of water involved at one or both electrodes o Water can be reduced or oxidizedSpecies whose oxidation halfreaction has the larger less negative oxidation potential is the more easily oxidizedElectrode potentials are measured under conditions in which the half reactions are at or very near equilibrium while in electrolysis half reactions can be far from equilibrium may have to supply larger voltage than predicted from electrode potentialsOVERVOLTAGE o
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