Meaning of Electrolysis

What is Electrolysis:

electrolysis is a chemical process that uses the property of electrical conductivity of some materials or substances to generate a non-spontaneous oxidation-reduction reaction.

The electrolysis concept derives from electrolytes that are defined as ionic conductors of positive or negative charges that have the capacity to transport electrical energy, that is, they generate electrical conductivity in materials and substances.

Electrical conductivity occurs in metals such as copper and silver and also through liquids such as water.

See also electrical conductivity.

electrolysis of water

Water electrolysis uses the electrical conductivity in a liquid medium to create the oxidation-reduction chemical reaction also known as retox.

The electrolysis of water requires electrolytic containers that must contain a solution with a greater quantity of ions or electrolytes so that its conductivity is ideal. In this electrolytic tank, electrodes connected to a direct current are immersed, through which the electrons are received.

It is common in the dissolution of water electrolyses to add a small amount of sulfuric acid. When the electrolysis of water is carried out in this medium, for example, it is obtained:

  • Oxygen due to oxidation at the anode (electrode connected to the positive pole of the current source).
  • Hydrogen due to the reduction of the cathode (electrode connected to the negative pole of the current source).

See also Oxidation.

Examples of electrolysis

There are many ways to apply the electrolysis process, for example, for the purification of metals. The most used metals are aluminum, magnesium.

You may be interested:  Meaning of Investigation Protocol

Other examples of electrolysis are:

  • Electrolysis of water (2H2O): from which hydrogen (2H2) and oxygen (O2) are produced.
  • Electrolysis of sodium chloride (2NaCl): from which sodium (2Na) and chlorine (Cl2) are obtained.
  • Electrolysis of aqueous sodium chloride (NaCl + H2O): resulting in sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrochloric acid (HCl).