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Electrolysis is the splitting up of substances made of ions via electricity.
The electric current decomposes the substance into smaller substances.
These smaller substance is known as the electrolyte.


To set up an electric circuit for use in electrolysis we need;

  • Two electrodes made of inert (unreactive) substances
    • An anode (+)
    • A cathode (-)
  • The solution or molten electrolyte
    • To dip the electrodes into

Electrolysis (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/images/addgateway_electrolysis_2.gif)

Remember ions are atoms with charge. So;

  • Negative ions attractive to positive terminal
    • anions --> anode
  • Positive ions attracted to negative terminal
    • cathions --> cathode

After the ions have been moved to their respective terminals, they may lose their charge and instead deposit themselves on the electrode as an element. This could be gas or metal. 

For example;

splitting up Lead Bromide. 

PbBr2 --> Pb(liquid) +…


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