Penn State CHEM 113
Experiment 15: Redox and Electrochemistry
Throughout this lab, we will study redox reactions, construct electrochemical cells, obtain cell
potential calculations, and carry out analysis of metal samples.
Thompson, S. PSU Chemtrek: Expt. Redox Equilibria and Electrochemistry; Keiser, J., Hayden-
McNeil Publishing: Plymouth, MI, 2020, pp 15-1 – 15-18.
Section A. Redox Reaction Investigation
The instructor places 2 small strips of both Zinc and Copper metal on a white reaction surfaces
about 4 inches apart and labels them. Then 1 drop of copper sulfate is added on top of the zinc
strip. The blue solution quickly turns black on top of the strip (spontaneous). Similarly, 1 drop of
zinc sulfate is added atop the copper foil, with no reaction observed (non-spontaneous).
Section B. A Small-Scale Electrochemical Cell
The instructor uses filter paper marked with 3 overlapping circles labeled with the 3 solutions being
used Copper Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate and Potassium Nitrate (the salt bridge). She then adds 2 drops of each
metal ions solutions to their labeled section on the paper and 2 drops of KNO3 between them. Then 1
piece of copper and 1 zinc foil is added on top of their respective solutions on the filter paper. Now she
uses a multi meter to find a voltage reading when placing each probe on the zinc and copper foils. This is
then repeated a few times and the voltage value is recorded for each trial in
swapped = - 1.009V
Voltage by zinc & copper foil