Big Manny GCSE Science Experiment: Electrolysis
What is electrolysis?
Electrolysis is the forces of splitting the aqueous or molten solutions using electricity. Now Electro means electricity and lysis means to split or break apart.
Electrolysis experiment with sulfate solution
Here we have a solution of copper sulfate, and we can separate the copper metal from the sulfate ions by using electricity.
What I have here is 2 carbon electrodes and what we’re going to do is attach some crocodile clips to both of them. I’m going to put one there and I’m gonna put the other one here.
Now what we’re going to do is put the two carbon electrodes into the copper sulfate solution and then we’re going to run an electrical current through the copper sulfate.
So, if you look at the copper sulfate solution, you can see a lot of oxygen bubbles being produced at the anode. And the reason why is because the negatively charged hydroxide ions in the solution are being attracted to the positively charged anode. When they go to the anode, they are oxidized, which means that they lose an electron and it turns into oxygen gas.
Now when we take the carbon electrodes out of the copper sulphate solution, we can see a large buildup of copper metal and the reason why is because of copper ions turned into copper atoms and they were reduced, which means that they gain 2 electrons.
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