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Answer to Question #25824 in Physical Chemistry for jordin

Question #25824
What generalization can be made about the reaction between a metal and its own aqueous ion? - electrochemisty - an intro to redox.
Expert's answer
It is about processes in electrochemical cell. An electrochemical cell consists of two half-cells. Each half-cell consists of an electrode, and an electrolyte.Electrode could be metal and electrolyte is salt of this metal. The two half-cells may use the same electrolyte, or they may use different electrolytes. The chemical reactions in the cell may involve the electrolyte, the electrodes or an external substance (as in fuel cells which may use hydrogen gas as a reactant). In a full electrochemical cell, species from one half-cell lose electrons (oxidation) to their electrode while species from the other half-cell gain electrons (reduction) from their electrode. A salt bridge (e.g. filter paper soaked in KNO3) is often employed to provide ionic contact between two half-cells with different electrolytes, to prevent the solutions from mixing and causing unwanted side reactions. As electrons flow from one half-cell to the other, a difference in charge is established. If no salt bridge was used, this charge difference would prevent further flow of electrons. A salt bridge allows the flow of ions to maintain a balance in charge between the oxidation and reduction vessels while keeping the contents of each separate.

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