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Introduction to the Atom
Ions and Ionic Compounds
Testing for Ions

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Properties of ionic compounds

Ionic compounds are able to conduct electricity when molten (melted) or in aqueous solution.

Why? The ions are free to move so can carry the electric charge around a circuit.

ions

Ionic compounds also tend to have high melting and boiling points due to the trong electrostatic forces of attraction that hold the ions together

 

 

Migration of Ions

migration of ions

When the current is flowing the blue, positive Cu2+ ions will move towards the negative electrode (cathode).

When the current is flowing the purple, negative MnO42- ions will move towards the positive electrode (anode).

 

 

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Atoms and Ions

Electricity from chemicals

A simple electric cell (battery) can be made by immersing 2 different metals in an electrolyte (an aqueous solution of an ionic compound) and connecting them with a conducting wire. A current flows through the wire.

electricity from chemicals

At the anode: The zinc metal is oxidized. It loses electrons and Zn2+ ions go into solution.

Zn ions

zinc oxiation

At the cathode: The copper ions (Cu2+) in solution are reduced. They accept electrons are are depositied as atoms of copper onto the cathode.

Cu ions

reduction copper

The migration of electrons causes an electric curent to flow from the anode to the cathode. The a reading on the voltmeter shows that chemical energy has been converted into electrical energy.

 

Electrolysis

Electrolysis is the breakdown of a substance by electricity. You will have seen evidence of this in the experiment where aqueous solutions of ionic compounds conduct electricity.

Electrolytes are compounds which do not conduct electricity when solids, but do when molten or in aqueous solution.

Examples: Ionic compounds. The ions are free to move and hence carry electric charge.

 

electrolysis

 

As you can see above there is a flow of electrons from the negative to the positive.

The ions carry the electric charge through the solution to complete the circuit.

 

Electrolysis of Copper II Sulfate solution

electrolysis

Oxygen gas is liberated at the anode

anode

Copper metal is plated onto the carbon cathode

cathode

 

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