October 22, 2020, 11:19:19 AM
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Topic: Why would the voltage between the two leads of a simple lead-acid (Pb-H2SO4) bat  (Read 1016 times)

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Offline apcurtiss

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As part of a lab I made a simple lead-acid battery with two solid lead strips and a sulfuric acid bath. The voltage was zero when the two strips were introduced into the bath, indicating they were clean of lead-dioxide. When I hooked the 9V battery up to the two lead (Pb) leads, the voltmeter shot up to 4.0 volts, then decreased over the course of a minute to 2.8 V at which point I unhooked the battery. Lead dioxide had formed at the positive electrode and the battery began discharging from about 2.0 V and it steadily decreased to 0.8 V after two minutes. I thought voltage didn't change much when a battery drained, only the current. And i certainly can't understand why the voltage would decrease while the battery was charging. Any help understanding this would be appreciated!

Offline Borek

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1. Google for Nernst equation.

2. Observed potential depends not only on concentrations/activities of substances reacting, but also on internal resistance of battery (because of IR loses).
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