Concentrations in a galvanic cell

1. Jun 13, 2009

Shaybay92

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

I am doing an investigation on the factors that affect the voltage of a galvanic cell (or daniell cell). I have two beakers with zinc and copper strips and zinc sulphate and copper sulphate.

How would there be an electrical current produced (significantly lower however) with a 0M concentration of copper ions and a 1M concentration of Zinc ions?

I thought the copper ions attract the electrons, or is it just the copper atoms and then the copper ions pick them up?

Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
2. Jun 14, 2009

Staff: Mentor

Nernst equation.

3. Jun 14, 2009

Shaybay92

But this equation is used to calculate the voltage in a concentration cell? The daniel cell that I am using is not a concentration cell, but two separate beakers with two different solutions?

4. Jun 14, 2009

Staff: Mentor

No, Nernst equation can be used to calculate voltage in any type of electrochemical cell.

5. Dec 8, 2009

DinCahill

If I am correct in saying the reaction quotient Q in the daniell cell is [Zn2+]/[Cu2+], Q in his case would be 1/0. So Eo - RT/zF lnQ would be Eo - Infinity? Does this mean the voltage is zero or infinitely negative?

6. Dec 8, 2009

Staff: Mentor

No, concentration of copper (II) is not zero. It may be very low, but once you put copper in water it immediatley reacts till the concentration is high enough so that oxidating potential of H+ from water autodissociation equals potential of Cu/Cu2+ system.

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7. Dec 8, 2009

DinCahill

Makes sense; thanks.