Electrolysing Sodium Chloride: Silver vs Graphite

In summary, the conversation discusses the use of different types of electrodes, such as copper, graphite, and silver, in an electrolysis reaction involving hot and cold sodium chloride solutions. The use of silver is mentioned as a potentially safer option, but the speaker also questions whether platinum would be necessary for the reaction. The potential reactivity of silver in the solution is also mentioned, along with the fact that graphite electrodes require high temperatures to ignite.
  • #1
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If I was to electrolyse a hot sodium chloride solution I'm pretty sure a copper electrode would react to make copper chloride. Whereas I would have used graphite electrodes if the solution was cold, this reaction should produce sodium chlorate which can obviously be quite reactive with organic compounds. The only other thing I have in the house is some spare silver. It's no platinum but it is more inert than copper. Would silver or graphite be safe, or should I only attempt this with platinum?
 
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  • #2
Silver is not that noble, especially in the chlorides solution it can be relatively easy oxidized to AgCl.
 
  • #3
What are you actually trying to do here?

Neither the oxygen gas nor sodium chlorate in aqueous solution, even at 100 degrees, should start a fire with your graphite electrode. Graphite requires very high temperatures to ignite.
 

1. What is the purpose of electrolysing sodium chloride using silver or graphite electrodes?

The purpose of electrolysing sodium chloride is to separate the sodium and chloride ions in the solution. This is done by passing an electric current through the solution using either silver or graphite electrodes.

2. Which electrode, silver or graphite, is more efficient for the electrolysis of sodium chloride?

Silver electrodes are more efficient for the electrolysis of sodium chloride. This is because silver is a better conductor of electricity and has a higher surface area, allowing for more efficient ion transfer.

3. What are the products of electrolysis when using silver or graphite electrodes?

When using silver electrodes, the products of electrolysis are silver ions and chloride ions. When using graphite electrodes, the products are chlorine gas and hydrogen gas.

4. Can the same amount of electricity be used for both silver and graphite electrodes in the electrolysis of sodium chloride?

No, the same amount of electricity cannot be used for both silver and graphite electrodes. Silver electrodes have a higher conductivity, so they require less electricity to produce the same amount of product compared to graphite electrodes.

5. How do the costs of using silver or graphite electrodes for electrolysis of sodium chloride compare?

Generally, the cost of using silver electrodes is higher than using graphite electrodes. However, the efficiency and effectiveness of silver electrodes may make them a more cost-effective option in the long run.

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