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Identifying the products of electrolysis

Description

This experiment enables students to carry out the electrolysis of various solutions and to investigate the identity of the products formed at the electrodes. They should be able to link their practical experiences with theory and learn how to construct simple ionic equations.

Credits

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This resource has been provided by, or developed in partnership with, Nuffield Foundation
identifying-the-products-...



well as highly flammable hydrogen.

Eye protection

Each working group requires:

Electrolysis apparatus (see diagram) (Note 1)

Graphite electrodes (about 5 mm diameter), 2 (Note 2)

Large rubber bung to fit electrolysis cell, with holes to carry the graphite electrodes

Small test-tubes (to fit over the electrodes), 2

DC power supply (6 V)

Small light bulb in holder (6 V, 5 W) [optional]

Leads and crocodile clips

Wooden splints

Small pieces of emery paper

Strips of Universal indicator paper

Disposable plastic gloves

Clamp and stand

Access to the following solutions (all approx. 0.5 M concentration) (Note 3):

Aqueous potassium bromide

Aqueous sodium iodide

Aqueous calcium nitrate

Aqueous zinc chloride (IRRITANT at this concentration)

Aqueous copper nitrate

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 



This experiment enables students to carry out the electrolysis of various solutions and to investigate the identity of the products formed at the electrodes. They should be able to link their practical experiences with theory and learn how to construct simple ionic equations.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.

The experiment is also part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Continuing Professional Development course: Chemistry for non-specialists