Difference between Galvanic Cells And Electrolytic Cells

A galvanic cell is an electrochemical cell in which spontaneous redox processes occur, which allow the continuous flow of electrons through the conductor, while redox reactions are induced by an external source of current in an electrolytic cell. The mechanical energy is transformed into electrical energy in a galvanic cell, whereas the electrical energy is converted to chemical energy in an electrolyte cell.Β Here, in the article, let us learn more differences between galvanic and electrolytic cells. Given below in a tabular column, the difference between electrolytic cells and Galvanic cells is listed neatly.

Galvanic Cells vs Electrolytic Cells

Galvanic Cells Electrolytic Cells
Spontaneous redox reactions convert chemical energy to electric energy. Non-spontaneous redox reactions convert the electric energy to chemical energy.
Electric energy is generated by redox reactions. Electric energy brings about a chemical reaction with the help of an external source.
The cathode is the positive electrode, and the anode is the negative electrode. The anode is the positive electrode, and the cathode is the negative electrode.
Half cells are set up in different containers and are connected through salt bridges. Electrodes are kept in the same container in a molten or solution electrolyte.
Application lies in batteries. Application lies in purifying copper and electroplating.

From the above differences between galvanic cells and electrolytic cells, we can conclude that a galvanic cell produces electric current with the help of the chemical reactions that occur spontaneously in it, while an electrolytic cell does the opposite, that is, it brings about chemical reactions with the help of an electric current from an external source. At BYJU’S, learn more differences like the difference between enantiomers and diastereomers.

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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What is the function of a galvanic cell?

The electrochemical cell type is a galvanic cell. It is used to supply electrical current through a redox reaction to the transfer of electrons. A galvanic cell is an example of how to use simple reactions between a few elements to harness energy.


How do you make a voltaic cell?

The basic cell or voltaic cell is made up of two electrodes, one of copper and the other of zinc, dipped in a glass vessel solution of dilute sulfuric acid. The current flows from copper to zinc outside the cell and from zinc to copper inside the cell when the two electrodes are connected externally with a piece of wire.


Why cathode is positive in the galvanic cell?

The anode is the electrode where oxidation (loss of electrons) occurs; it is the negative electrode in a galvanic cell since electrons are left on the electrode when oxidation occurs. Therefore, the cathode is a neutral electrode; because there are reduced positive ions of metal atoms.


How do you represent a galvanic cell?

A basic voltaic cell is created by immersing in a diluted solution of sulfuric acid, a zinc plate and a copper plate. A voltaic cell is an electrochemical cell that produces electrical energy using a chemical reaction. The reactions to oxidation and reduction are divided into half-cell compartments.

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