The application of Electrolysis?

Essay by vineetbaldwaJunior High, 9th grade November 2007

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Chemistry Essay

Name: Vineet Baldwa

Grade: 10C

Q. Write an essay on the application of Electrolysis?


Before we go into the details of the application of electrolysis, we must first understand very clearly the process of electrolysis and how it works.

The word electrolysis has been derived from the two words "Electro" meaning electricity and "lysis" meaning analysis which means separation. So just be finding the root of the word, we can understand what it means. Electrolysis means the splitting of compounds using electricity.


Electrolysis is the splitting up of ionic compounds into their constituents using an electric charge. However for this, the salt has to conduct electricity. However ionic compounds do not conduct electricity in solid state (because there are no free moving ions to carry the charges). However in liquid or aqueous (dissolved in water) state, where free ions can carry the charge, they can conduct electricity.

We know that for current to pass through a conductor, it has to have a positive and a negative junction. The positive junction (connected to the positive end of the battery) is called an anode and the negative junction (connected to the negative end of the battery) is called a cathode. The dissolved or molten ionic compound which is to be split into its constituents is called the electrolyte. This is the simple setup of electrolysis.


Electrolysis In Molten State

When a salt in is an aqueous or molten state, then it breaks up into its ions. For example

NaCl (s) ( Na+ (l) + Cl- (l)

These ions formed have either a negative or positive charge. Since unlike charges attract each other, the positive ions move toward the cathode (negative electrode) and are called cations and the negative ions move towards the anode (positive electrode) and are...