Chemistry - Electrolysis

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Lilymus
  • Created on: 31-03-16 15:54


Ionic substances contain charged particles called ions. For example, lead bromide contains positively charged lead ions and negatively charged bromide ions.

Electrolysis is the process by which ionic substances are decomposed (broken down) into simpler substances when an electric current is passed through them.

Electricity is the flow of electrons or ions. For electrolysis to work, the compound must contain ions. Covalent compounds cannot act as electrolytes because they contain neutral atoms.

The ions must be free to move, which is possible when an ionic substance is dissolved in water or it is melted. For example, if electricity is passed through molten lead bromide, the lead bromide is broken down to form lead and bromine.

1 of 2

Electrolysis - ion movement

Positively charged ions move to the negative electrode during electrolysis. They receive electrons and are reduced. Negatively charged ions move to the positive electrode during electrolysis. They lose electrons and are oxidised.

2 of 2


No comments have yet been made

Similar Chemistry resources:

See all Chemistry resources »See all Electrolysis resources »