Important Notes – Electrochemical Cells

♻️ Important Notes – Electrochemical Cells ♻️

► An electrochemical cell can convert electrical energy to chemical energy and can also convert electrical energy to chemical energy. There are two types of electrochemical cells- Galvanic cell and Electrolytic cell.

► Cathodes are usually metal electrodes. It is the electrode where reduction takes place. The cathode is the positive electrode in a galvanic cell and a negative electrode in an electrolytic cell. Electrons move into the cathode.

► A half-cell is half of an electrochemical cell (electrolytic or galvanic), where either oxidation or reduction occurs. At equilibrium, there is no transfer of electrons across the half cells. Therefore, the potential difference between them is nil.

► A salt bridge is a device used to connect the oxidation and reduction half-cells of a galvanic cell (a type of electrochemical cell). Strong electrolytes are generally used to make the salt bridges in electrochemical cells. Since ZnSO4 is not a strong electrolyte, it is not used to make salt bridges.

► Emf of a cell is equal to the maximum potential difference across its electrodes, which occurs when no current is drawn through the cell. It can also be defined as the net voltage between the oxidation and reduction half-reactions.

► Cell potential is an intensive property as it is independent of the amount of material present. Gibbs free energy is defined for an electrochemical cell and is an extensive property as it depends on the quantity of the material.

► Electrode potential is the tendency of an electrode to accept or to lose electrons. Electrode potential depends on the nature of the electrode, temperature of the solution and the concentration of metal ions in the solution. It doesn’t depend on the size of the electrode.

► The salt bridge connects the two half-cell solutions to complete the circuit of the electrochemical cell. The electrolytes of the salt bridge are generally prepared in agar-agar or gelatin so that the electrolytes are kept in a semi-solid phase and do not mix with the half-cell solutions and interfere with the electrochemical reaction.

► A salt bridge is a junction that connects the anodic and cathodic compartments in a cell or electrolytic solution. It maintains electrical neutrality within the internal circuit, preventing the cell from rapidly running its reaction to equilibrium.

► A Voltaic or Galvanic cell is a type of electrochemical cell that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. Photovoltaic cells are used to convert light energy into electrical energy. An Electrolytic cell is a type of electrochemical cell that converts electrical energy into chemical energy. A fuel cell is an electrochemical cell that converts the chemical energy of a fuel and an oxidizing agent into electricity.

► For all spontaneous chemical reactions, the change in Gibbs free energy (ΔG°) is always negative. For a spontaneous reaction in an electrolytic cell, the cell potential (E°cell) should be positive.

► In an electrochemical cell, when an opposing externally potential is applied and increased slowly, the reaction continues to take place. When the external potential is equal to the potential of the cell, the reaction stops. Once the externally applied potential is greater than the potential of the cell, the reaction goes in the opposite direction and the cell behaves like an electrolytic cell.

► Primary cells cannot be used again and again. Since there is no fluid inside, these cells are also known as dry cells. The internal resistance is high and the chemical reaction is irreversible. Their initial cost is cheap.

► A secondary battery (a series of cells) is one which can be charged, discharged into a load, and recharged many times. Nickel-cadmium cell, Lead storage cell and Mercury cell are examples of secondary cells. Leclanche cell is an example of a primary cell.

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