Electrolysis of Ionic Compounds
The electron lost at the anode flows through the circuit to the cathode where it is gained by the cation.
Cations are positively charged. They go to the cathode, which is negatively charged.
Anions are negatively charged. They go to the anode, which is positively charged.
In the diagram, there are Cu+, SO(4)2-, OH- and H+ ions - the water ions are also affected by electrolysis, and thus may contribute towards to what is produced and the electrodes...
Rules for deciding what is formed at the Electrodes
- Cathode: anything less reactive than hydrogen gains electrons. Therefore, hydrogen forms unless there is a less reactive metal