RDGecell - Electrochemical Cells Revised: 5/04/05...

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Electrochemical Cells Revised: 5/04/05 ELECTROCHEMICAL CELLS A redox reaction involves the transfer of electrons from one chemical species to another. The energy from a redox reaction can be used to accomplish work by constructing an electrochemical cell. In an electrochemical cell, the oxidation process and the reduction process are separated into two half-cells connected by an external wire. The half-cell with the oxidation process is losing negative charge (e loss) while the half-cell with the reduction process is gaining negative charge (e gain). To maintain electrical neutrality in both half-cells, a salt bridge (or semipermeable membrane) must connect the two half- cells to permit the transfer of ions between the two solutions. Thus, the salt bridge completes the electrical circuit between the half cells. The transfer of electrons through the external wire create a current that can do work. The driving force pushing the electrons through the wire is the difference in the attraction for electrons in the two half-cells. This voltage difference is called the cell potential (E cell ) and is measured in volts. The cell potential (E cell ) is directly related to the magnitude of the equilibrium constant for the overall oxidation-reduction reaction occurring in the cell. A reaction that more strongly favors product formation (larger K
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2010 for the course CHEMISTRY Chem 1LE taught by Professor Dr.kimberlyedwards during the Spring '10 term at UC Irvine.

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RDGecell - Electrochemical Cells Revised: 5/04/05...

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