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Electrochemical process

the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy or electrical energy into chemical energy; all electrochemical processes involve redox reactions

Electrochemical Cell

Any device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy or electrical energy into chemical energy

Voltaic Cell

An electrochemical cell used to convert chemical energy into electrical energy; the energy is produced by a spontaneous redox reaction


the part of a voltaic cell in which either oxidation or reduction occurs; it consists of a single electrode immersed in a solution of its ions

Salt Bridge

a tube containing a strong electrolyte used to separate the half-cells in a voltaic cell; it allows the passage of ions from one half-cell to the other but prevents the solutions from mixing completely


A conductor in a circuit that carries electrons to or from a substance other than a metal


the electrode at which oxidation occurs


the electrode at which reduction occurs

Dry Cell

a commercial voltaic cell in which the electrolyte is a moist paste. Example - Flashlight batteries


A group of voltaic cells that are connected to one another

Fuel cell

a voltaic cell that does not need to be recharged; the fuel is oxidized to produce a continuous supply of electrical energy

Electrical potential

the ability of a voltaic cell to produce an electrical current

Reduction Potential

a measure of the tendency of a given half-reaction to occur as a reduction (gain of electrons) in an electrochemical cell

Cell Potential

the difference between the reduction potentials of two half cells

Standard Cell Potential

The measured cell potential when an ion concentration in the half cells are 1.00M at 1ATM of pressure and 25C. (E cell)

Standard Hydrogen Electrode

An arbitrary reference electrode (half-cell) used with another electrode (half-cell) to measure the standard reduction potential of that cell; the standard reduction potential of a hydrogen electrode is assigned a value of 0.00V


A process in which electrical energy is used to bring about a chemical change; the electrolysis of water produces hydrogen and oxygen

Electrolyte Cell

An electrochemical cell used to cause a chemical change through the application of electrical energy


A process that involves complete or partial loss of electrons or a gain of oxygen; it results in an increase in the oxidation number of an ion

Oxidation-Reduction Reaction

A reaction that involves the transfer of electrons between reactants

Oxidizing agent

The substance in a redox reaction that accepts electrons; in the reaction, the oxidizing agent is reduced.

Redox Reaction

Another name for an oxidation-reduction reaction

Reducing Agent

the substance in a redox reaction that donates electrons; in the reaction, the reducing agent is oxidized


A process that involves a complete or partial gain of electrons or the loss of oxygen; it results in a decrease in the oxidation numbers of an atom.

Oxidation Number

A positive or negative number assigned to an atom to indicate its degree of oxidation or reduction; the oxidation number of an uncombined element is zero

Oxidation-Number-Change Method

A method a balancing a redox equation by comparing the increases and decreases in oxidation numbers.

Monoprotic acids

any acid that contains one ionizable proton (H+ ion); ex: HNO3

Diprotic Acids

acids that contain two ionizable hydrogens (H2SO4)

Triprotic Acid

an acid that has three ionizable protons per molecule, such as phosphoric acid

Conjugate acid

The species produced when a base accepts a hydrogen ion from an acid

Conjugate Base

the particle that remains when an acid has donated a hydrogen ion

Conjugate Acid-Base Pair

consists of two substances related by the loss or gain of a single hydrogen ion

Hydronium Ion

an ion consisting of a proton combined with a molecule of water; H3O+


having characteristics of both an acid and a base and capable of reacting as either

Lewis Acid

an atom, ion, or molecule that accepts an electron pair to form a covalent bond

Lewis Base

any substance that can donate a pair of electrons to form a covalent bond


a term describing the reaction in which two water molecules react to produce ions

Neutral Solution

an aqueous solution in which the concentrations of H+ and OH- ions are equal; pH = 7

Ion-Product Constant for Water

the product of the concentrations of hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions in water; it is 1 X 10^-14 at 25 degrees C

Acidic Solution

Any water solution that has more hydrogen ions (H+) than hydroxide ions (OH-); pH is less than 7

Basic Solution

any solution in which the hydroxide-ion concentration is greater than the hydrogen-ion concentration

Alkaline Solution

has a ph higher than 7; a basic solution


A measure of hydrogen ion concentration equal to -log [H+] and ranging in value from 0 to 14.

Strong Acid

an acid that is completely or almost completely ionized in aqueous solution

Strong Base

a base that completely dissociates into metal ions and hydroxide ions in aqueous solution

Weak Acid

an acid that is only slightly ionized in aqueous solution

Weak Base

a base that reacts with water to form hydroxide ion and the conjugate acid of the base

Acid dissociation constant (Ka)

the ratio of the concentration of the dissociated form of an acid to the concentration of the undissociated form

Base dissociation constant (Kb)

the ratio of the concentration of the conjugate acid times the concentration of the hydroxide ion to the concentration of the base

Neutralization Reactions

Reactions in which an acid and a base react in an aqueous solution to produce a salt and water

Equivalence Point

The point during a titration when the number of H+ ions and OH- ions are equal. This is at the middle of the steepest part of the titration curve.

Standard Solution

a solution whose concentration is accurately known used in carrying out a titration


process in which a solution of known concentration is used to determine the concentration of another solution

End Point

the point in a titration at which an indicator changes color

Salt Hydrolysis

a process in which the cations or anions of a dissociated salt accept hydrogen ions from water or donate hydrogen ions to water


weak acids or bases that can react with strong acids or bases to prevent sharp, sudden changes in pH

Buffer Capacity

the amount of acid or base that can be added to a buffer solution before a significant change in pH occurs

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