Wednesday, April 21, 2010

[Chemistry Form 4] Two-way Conversion

Electrochemistry is the science that studies the relation between electricity and chemical changes. So how are they related?

An electric current can bring about an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction, such as the recovery of metals from their ores and electroplating of surfaces.

In the process called electrolysis, electrical energy is converted into chemical energy, which is stored in the products of the reaction.

Aluminium and copper are some examples of the products of electrolysis.

Conversely, chemical energy can be converted into electrical energy.

This process can be seen in spontaneous chemical reactions and forms the basis for batteries and fuel cells in supplying electrical power.

An electrolyte is an electrically conductive substance that contains positively- and negatively- charged particles called ions.

The following are electrolytes and non-electrolytes;
  • Electrolytes
    1. Copper (II) chloride
    2. Molten aluminium oxide
    3. Sodium hydroxide solution
    4. Silver nitrate solution

  • Non-electrolytes
    1. Aqueous ammonia
    2. Copper (II) sulphate crystal
    3. Glucose solution
    4. Ethanol
    5. Solid sodium chloride
    6. Molten naphthalene
    7. Acetamide
    8. Tetrachloromethane

Did You Know?
  • A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. In 1800, Italian physicist Alessandro Volta developed the first electric battery that generated a steady stream of electricity. His invention was called the Voltaic pile.

    Since then, the principles applied to the Voltaic pile have been used in batteries. In 1881, the volt (V), an electrical unit, was named after him.

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