Electrolysis Lab 13

Topics: Chemistry, Electrochemistry, PH indicator Pages: 4 (1138 words) Published: February 17, 2015

Chemistry 1225 Lab Write-Up #13


Electrolysis is a method of using a direct electric current to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction. During electrolysis, hydrogen atoms (H2) are reduced at the cathode whereas the oxygen atoms (O2) are oxidized at the anode. There were three different solutions used in the experiment in order to have a better understanding of electrolysis reactions. From each solution, reaction equations were produced. The reactions could be observed from the indicators used. The reactions showed that hydrogen ions were produced at the anode, making it acidic and hydroxide ions were produced at the cathode, making it basic. In all parts of the experiment, the reaction that took place at the anode was 2H2O(l)  O2(g) + 4H+ + 4e- and the reaction at the cathode was 4e- + 4H2O(l)  2H2(g) + 4OH-.


The universal indicator is flammable and must be handled with caution – be sure to keep away from any open flames. Wear splash goggles when handling any chemicals. Before leaving the lab, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands.


Electrolysis is a method that is used to separate compounds by attracting ions in aqueous solutions to the opposite electrode. This means the electrode that is attached to the negative pole of the battery (supplies electrons) is called the cathode. The electrode attracted to the positive pole of the battery (accepts electrons) is called the anode. Electrodes that contain graphite are widely used – graphite is typically used because they are inert.

In order to successfully ionize, the aqueous electrolyte containing hydrogen and hydroxide ions, as well as the solute, they must compete with each other at the electrodes. The hydrogen atoms (H2) are reduced at the cathode whereas the oxygen atoms (O2) are oxidized at the anode. When there is an electric current running through an aqueous solution containing an electrolyte, water molecules separate into hydrogen and...
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