Sign in to follow this  
xoxAshaxox

Electrolysis

Recommended Posts

xoxAshaxox    10

I am a GCSE student and I don't understand Electrolysis, I need to know this for my exam! Help would be much apperciated!

 

Thanks :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alice    10

I found this in wikipedia. It's easy to understand.

 

Electrolysis is a method of separating bonded elements and compounds by passing an electric current through them.

 

An ionic compound is dissolved with an appropriate solvent, or otherwise melted by heat, so that its ions are available in the liquid. An electrical current is applied between a pair of inert electrodes immersed in the liquid. The negatively charged electrode is called the cathode, and the positively charged one the anode. Each electrode attracts ions which are of the opposite charge. Therefore, positively charged ions (called cations) move towards the cathode, while negatively charged ions (termed anions) move toward the anode. The energy required to separate the ions, and cause them to gather at the respective electrodes, is provided by an electrical power supply. At the probes, electrons are absorbed or released by the ions, forming a collection of the desired element or compound.

 

Good luck with your test!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alice    10

The pleasure is mine. How did you do in your test?:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KFC    10

When you do eletrolyse on Magnesium Sulphate you get Hydrogen and Sulfur Dioxide?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaWiz    10

Magnesium Sulphate shouldn't produce sulfur dioxide...it should produce O2. Sulfate ions are actually difficult to oxidize, which is why it is a preferred anion to use in electrolysis: sulfuric acid is basically a standard, but sodium sulfate is a good alternative (I use it in my home experiments):)

Edited by DaWiz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theophrastus    25

Where did you attain the hydrogen ion? In the electrolysis of pure (molten!)magnesium sulfate, you attain magnesium at one end, and a sulfate ion on the other. The sulfate then decomposes to form sulfur dioxide (a rather poisonous gas) and diatomic oxygen. However, while early on, many people see electrolysis as the source of all their problems, electrolysis of salts is often very difficult due to the high temperatures involved (as they must be in a liquid form), and use of an aqueous solution often interferes with the attainment of desired products. Without a high current, its also a rather slow process, certainly not an optimum one. It's not, by any means the "magic bullet."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UC    145
Where did you attain the hydrogen ion? In the electrolysis of pure (molten!)magnesium sulfate, you attain magnesium at one end, and a sulfate ion on the other. The sulfate then decomposes to form sulfur dioxide (a rather poisonous gas) and diatomic oxygen. However, while early on, many people see electrolysis as the source of all their problems, electrolysis of salts is often very difficult due to the high temperatures involved (as they must be in a liquid form), and use of an aqueous solution often interferes with the attainment of desired products. Without a high current, its also a rather slow process, certainly not an optimum one. It's not, by any means the "magic bullet."

 

MgSO4 decomposes before it melts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theophrastus    25

Ah, thanks for the clarification, i was thinking in more of a theoretical context. However, I do have a question, simply under heat, were one to perform the decomposition of magnesium sulfate, would the reaction ensue like this:

 

MgSO4 > MgS + 2O2

 

or

 

MgSO4 > Mg + SO2 + O2

 

I understend that what would occur would also be based upon the decomposition point of MgS, so, what would occur?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theophrastus    25

"Was that so hard" - lol.

 

Sorry, due to outward laziness, I generally ignore the magic of google, and simply post certain questions, hoping for a reply. My general apologies

 

ps: Laziness does have its upsides, however. For example, one of my friends, mutters "rather nasty curse words" to me, under his breath in french, when he is angry. Now, were I to have the "determination" and "work- ethic" to translate these words, I might be offended. Instead laziness prevails, and there is no unnecessary strain upon our friendship. May laziness flourish, to the detriment of virtue! (Sorry, that last note, may be a little on the anarchistic/ communistic side)

 

pps: Yes, I know, my carbohydrate intake, is clearly excessive. Ah, sucrose...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this