Question

Write equations for the half-reactions that occur at the anode and cathode in the electrolysis of molten KBr\mathrm{KBr}. What are the products formed at the anode and cathode in the electrolysis of aqueous KBr?

Solution

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Electrolysis is the process wherein electrical energy is used for chemical change to occur. This process involves a molten salt or an aqueous solution which will serve as the material to be electrolyzed.

Electrolysis involving molten salts requires salts to be heated and melted at high temperatures. In this state, the cations and anions which make up the salt are freed from their crystal lattice.

Once a potential is applied to the electrodes, the cations of the salt will be attracted to the cathode (negative electrode) and the anions to the anode (positive electrode). At high potentials, cations gain electrons in the cathode and anions lose electrons in the anode.

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