Electrolytic cells: molten salts

Learning Material, Learning Guide, Learning Module  |  Interactive Lesson  |  RAR

Published on 2018 July 26th

Investigate the electrolysis of three molten salts in electrolytic cells where there is only one oxidant and one reductant present. Find out the type of reaction that can be driven by supplying electrical energy, and the reasons behind the cell design. Observe the melting of the electrolyte prior to turning on the power. Then when power is turned on, observe the reactions at the anode and cathode, at both the physical level and the particle level. Determine the half-equations for these reactions and the equation for the net cell reaction. Explain the changes observed. This learning object is one in a series of four learning objects.
1. Students explain the design of electrolytic cells and why salts must be molten to be suitable for use as the electrolyte.
2. From observation, students determine the nature of the process occurring at each electrode, and the half-equations and the equation for the net cell reaction.
3. Students explain observations at the particle level of the changes occurring in electrolytic cells in which the electrolyte is a molten salt.

Curriculum Information

K to 12
Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10
Matter Living Things and Their Environment
Learners, Students

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