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Topic: Electrochemistry: electrolysis  (Read 5815 times)

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777888

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Electrochemistry: electrolysis
« on: November 05, 2004, 07:17:26 PM »
Electrochemistry: electrolysis

1)Why do most elements occur naturally as compounds rather than just elements themselves?
-I know that ionic compounds containing ACTIVE metals usually occur naturally as compounds because the metal ions have low reduction potential. But why do MOST elements occur naturally as compounds?

2)How are the processes of electrorefining and electroplating different? What are some examples of each?

Can somebody teach me? Thank you :)

Offline jdurg

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Re:Electrochemistry: electrolysis
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2004, 08:09:54 PM »
1):  I think it's all about stability.  Most elements do not have a full outer shell of electrons, so they want to do whatever they can in order to get that full shell and be thermodynamically stable.  Elements such as silicon and carbon and phosphorus are found as compounds because they are usually around very reactive elements which will want to react with them, thus not letting them exist as free elements.  (Silicon and carbon are usually around oxygen, as is phosphorus.  The oxygen will make it more likely that they won't be found free).

2):  Electrorefining is an attempt at purifying a metal by electroplating it onto a designate device so that only the the pure metal plates out.  The over look of the metal is not important.  Only the purity.  Electroplating is the decorative deposition of a metal onto a target object.  Generally, when electroplating you do care about how it looks and the purity is the second thing on the list of priorities.  I also think the difference between the two is the amount of metal involved.  When you electroplate, you're generally dealing with a smaller amount of metal.  When you electrorefine, you're dealing with a LOT more metal.  (For example, when you electroplate gold onto something, you generally deal with very, very, very small amounts of gold.  When you electrorefine gold metal, you're dealing with kilograms of it).
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777888

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Re:Electrochemistry: electrolysis
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2004, 01:02:40 AM »
Thanks a lot :) I get it now

But I still have two more questions...

1.When refining metals in an electrolytic cell, why must the metal product form at the cathode?

2.In the process of refining copper metal, why is the electrode of the impure copper placed at the anode?

Thank you again for your great explanation

777888

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Re:Electrochemistry: electrolysis
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2004, 02:01:45 AM »
Thanks a lot :) I get it now

But I still have two more questions...

1.When refining metals in an electrolytic cell, why must the metal product form at the cathode?

2.In the process of refining copper metal, why is the electrode of the impure copper placed at the anode?

Thank you again for your great explanation
Can anyone teach me? Thanks!

Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re:Electrochemistry: electrolysis
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2004, 08:17:03 AM »
Quote
1.When refining metals in an electrolytic cell, why must the metal product form at the cathode?

metal from the anode dissolves in the electrolyte to produce positively charged metallic ions. these ions will be discharged at the cathode. hence the metal product will be the cathode, so that these ions can be discharged to form pure metal on the cathode to produce bigger block of pure metal.

Quote
2.In the process of refining copper metal, why is the electrode of the impure copper placed at the anode?

such arrangement allows copper in the impure metal block to dissolve in the electrolyte.
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