Electrolysis of a Sulfuric Acid Solution

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Summary

An electric current is passed through a sulfuric acid solution. Gases collected at the electrodes are tested. The 28 thumbnail images summarize the content of the video. Click an image to see the image gallery.

Narration

Two cylinders containing sulfuric acid dissolved in water are connected with tubing. When electricity passes through the system, oxidation occurs at one electrode and reduction at the other. Electrolysis of the water generates hydrogen gas at one electrode and oxygen at the other. The role of the sulfuric acid is to allow transfer of charge from one platinum electrode to the other. As the time lapse shows the volume of gas collected at each electrode differs. The volume of gas generated at each electrode can be determined from the volume readings on the cylinders. When gas from the left cylinder is collected in a test tube and a lighted match is brought near it the gas ignites with a barking noise indicating hydrogen. When a glowing match is brought near gas from the right cylinder the match burns brightly indicating the presence of oxygen.

Keywords

Acids / Bases | Electrochemistry | Oxidation / Reduction | pH

These ChemEd DL Resource Groups Include This Video

Electrolysis-Water
Electrochemistry
Electrolysis
Oxidation-Reduction (Redox) Reactions


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