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Learning objects Electrolytic cells: aqueous solutions

TLF ID L8889

Use the electrochemical series to identify the strongest oxidant and reductant in an electrolytic cell containing an aqueous electrolyte solution. Predict the physical reactions and half-equations at the anode and cathode for different cells. Observe the reactions to confirm your predictions. Deduce the equation for a net cell reaction, where one can be written. This learning object is one of a series of four learning objects.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students identify the species in electrolytic cells and the relevant half-equations in the electrochemical series.
  • Students identify all the oxidants and reductants present in a cell, which includes considering the electrode material.
  • Students deduce the species to be preferentially discharged at specific electrodes.
  • Students predict the half-equations for reactions at electrodes, and the expected observations.
  • Students identify whether an equation for the net cell reaction can be written and if so, what that equation will be.
Educational value
  • Supports the use of the electrochemical series to predict the reactions in electrolytic cells.
  • Includes diagrams and animations of different electrolytic cells containing aqueous solutions.
  • Fosters a deeper understanding of electrolytic cells and the processes that occur in them.
  • Includes options to print information about the cells investigated.
  • Provides additional extension questions as an optional printout.
Year level

11; 12

Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Chemistry
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis

    Other details

    • Script writer
    • Name: Rebecca Cox
    • Organisation: CWA New Media
    • Address: Wellington New Zealand
    • URL:
    • Subject matter expert
    • Name: Jenny Sharwood
    • Address: Balwyn North VIC 3104 Australia
    • Educational validator
    • Name: Denis Goodrum
    • Organisation: University of Canberra
    • Address: Barton ACT 2600 Australia
    • URL:
    • Technical implementer
    • Organisation: CWA New Media
    • Address: Wellington New Zealand
    • URL:
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 20 Sep 2013
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL:
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    • Generic
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    Platform requirements
    • Due to the use of rich media content, this learning object is suitable for a connection speed of 256 kbit/s or faster. This object may not display correctly on the Mac OS X platform in Safari unless viewed with Flash 9 Player 9, 0, 24 (for Safari). Use of earlier increments of the Flash 9 Player may result in playback issues on both PowerPC and Intel based hardware. Indications of an incompatible player are looping and/or flashing animations which are likely to relate to flawed interaction with the API or rendering engine. Intermittent keyboard function is known to be lost via certain browsers.
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.