Chemistry - electrolysis Watch

Angharad1606
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Can someone explain in GCSE detail how electrolysis works?
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ellie98
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(Original post by Angharad1606)
Can someone explain in GCSE detail how electrolysis works?
Okay so there's a few definitions you need to know before I can explain

electrolysis: the splitting up (decomposition) of a compound/substance into the ions and then the elements that make it up

electrolyte: the substance that's being split up

electrodes: the positive and negative bar type things that will sit in the electrolyte and do the splitting up, usually made of something not very reactive so it doesn't react with the electrolyte

so there are two electrodes: the anode and the cathode

the anode is positively charged, so attracts the negatively charged ions in the substance (because unlike poles attract)

the cathode is negatively charged, so attracts the positively charged ions in the substance

(you can remember which one attracts which ion by the mnemonic PANIC - postive anode negative is cathode)

so basically the electrodes are connected to a cell/battery and that is turned on, so there is a current running through the substance , and then current basically just makes the ions within the substance move to their respective electrodes, splitting the compound up
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ellie98
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I understand that I may have explained it a bit too simply so I'd suggest that you go onto this website:

http://askmichellechemistry.blogspot...ctrolysis.html

she is very good at explaining things, but it is igcse chemistry so three might be a few things on there that you don't need to know

you could also have a look on bbc bite size, and often you can find very good explanation videos on YouTube, so type in GCSE electrolysis or something in there and I'm sure you will find something

hope this helps!

ask me if you have any more questions
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