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The Concept of Electrolysis Essay Sample

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The Concept of Electrolysis Essay Sample


Jan Rudolph Deiman and Adriaan Paets van Troostwijk used in 1789 an electrostatic machine to produce electricity which was discharged on electrodes in a jar with water. In 1800 Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile, a few weeks later William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle used it for the electrolysis of water. When Zénobe Gramme invented the Gramme machine in 1869 electrolysis of water became a cheap method to produce hydrogen. A method of industrial synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis was developed by Dmitry Lachinov in 1888. Electrolysis of water requires excess energy in the form of over potential to overcome barriers.

Without the excess energy the electrolysis of water happens very slowly or not at all. Water has an electrical conductivity about one 1,000,000 of seawater. The Purpose of electrolysis is to separate water into Hydrogen and Oxygen gas. My hypothesis is the experiment will separate Hydrogen into the positive test tube and Oxygen into the negative test tube. The experiment sadly didn’t work. The experiment might not have worked because of people bumping into the table or the wires broke. Materials:

1) Water
2) Beaker
3) Test Tube (2)
4) Spoon
5) Salt
6) Baking Soda
7) Test Tube holders (2)
8) Battery
9) Wire


Before adding the salt and baking soda there was no bubbles in the beaker and the water was still clear. When adding the salt and baking soda the water became foggy and bubbles began to appear. It seemed that the positive (+) wire had more bubbles then the negative (-) wire. After letting the experiment sit for a day the negative test tube should have had a reaction when a flame was held under it and the positive test tube should have had a reaction with a bigger flame. Mine didn’t have any reaction at all. Sadly my experiment didn’t work.


My hypothesis is the experiment will separate Hydrogen into the positive test tube and Oxygen into the negative test tube. The experiment didn’t work because the wires connected to the battery broke. If the wires didn’t break the experiment would have been a success if everything else worked. When it was just water in the beaker there were no bubbles because there was nothing for the energy from the battery to react with. After the salt and baking soda there were a lot of bubbles because the energy from the battery reacted with them. The negative test tube should have a reaction because the Oxygen atoms react with the flame. The positive test tube should have the same reaction but with a bigger flame because of the Hydrogen reacting with the flame.


Electrolysis is the decomposition of water into Oxygen and Hydrogen gas due to an electric current being passed through the water. My hypothesis is the experiment will separate Hydrogen into the positive test tube and Oxygen into the negative test tube. My hypothesis was rejected because the experiment didn’t work. The experiment should have separated the Hydrogen into the negative test tube and the Oxygen into the positive test tube. When you light the match and put it under each test tube the negative test tube should have made a pop noise and have a short flame. When you put the match under the positive test tube you should have heard a louder pop then with the negative and a bigger flame then the negative test tube.

1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water#Techniques 2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_splitting
3) http://www.hometrainingtools.com/electrolysis-science-project/a/1531/

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