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Ionic compounds conduct electricity when molten or aqueous.
When an electric current is passed through a molten ionic compound or an
aqueous solution of an ionic compound, electrolysis takes place.
Electrolysis is the decomposition of a substance by passing an electric
current through it.

Electrolysis of molten compounds

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At Anode: Negative non-metal ions are attracted to the anode. At the anode they
lose electrons of form atoms.

E.g. 2Br- Br2 + 2e- Bromine formed.

Electrolysis of aqueous solutions
Any aqueous solution containing ions can be electrolysed.
The products are harder to predict than with molten compounds.
Product at…

Page 3

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Overall reaction: 2 NaCl (aq) + 2 H2O (l) 2 NaOH (aq) + H2 (g) + Cl2 (g)

NaCl (aq) is gradually converted into NaOH (aq)


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