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Question

What does electrolysis of salt water produce?


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Solution

  1. Electrolysis is the process of breaking down the ionic compound into its constituent ions by applying electric current.
  2. Salt (NaCl) dissolved in water is known as brine solution.
  3. In the electrolysis of salt water, pair of inert electrodes are immersed in the solvent.
  4. The negative charged electrodes are known as cathode whereas the positive charged electrodes are known as anode.
  5. Each electrode attracts ions of opposite charge.
  6. The positively charged ions move towards the cathode whereas negatively charged ions move toward the anode.
  7. Electrolysis of salt water forms Sodium hydroxide and Chlorine.
  8. As the discharge potential of hydrogen ion is more than Sodium, it is reduced at cathode instead of Na+.
  9. Further, Hydrogen gas bubble up at the cathode and Chlorine gas bubble at the anode.
  10. Anodic reaction:
    2Cl-(aq)Cl2(g)+2e-
  11. Cathodic reaction:
    2H+(aq)+2eH2(g)

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