Gatewaylectrochemistry: Voltaic Cells


Table of Contents

Icon Legend
Ox amp; Red


Voltaic Cells

Cell Voltage

Calc. Potentials


Electrolytic Cells

Goal: to describe the construction and operation of a voltaic cell

Working Definitions

'click' here for another definition. Electrical current is the movement of charged particles, either electrons or ions, through a conductor.

'click' here for another definition. A voltaic cell is an electrochemical cell that uses a chemical reaction to produce electrical energy. The important parts of a voltaic cell:

  1. The anode is an electrode where oxidation occurs.
  2. The cathode is an electrode where reduction occurs.
  3. A salt bridge is a chamber of electrolytes necessary to complete the circuit in a voltaic cell.
  4. The oxidation and reduction reactions are separated into compartments called half-cells.
  5. The external circuit is used to conduct the flow of electrons between the electrodes of the voltaic cell and usually includes a load.
  6. The load is the part of the circuit which utilizes the flow of electrons to perform some function.
Note: A light bulb is a example of a simple load where current (a flow of electrons) is used to resistively heat a filament of metal, usually tungsten, until it radiates energy in the form of visible light.

Before moving to the next page you should be able to recognize the parts of a simple voltaic cell.

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