Electrolysis and drift currents

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of drift current in electrolysis and whether it is possible to have a situation where there is only one type of drift current (either positive or negative). The conclusion is that this is not possible because the separation of charges during electrolysis would prevent it from happening. It is also noted that in a conductor, applying a potential can result in easier movement of electrons compared to positive ions.
  • #1
somasimple
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Hi,
If there is an electrolysic in a vat, there is a positive and negative drift current betwwen the electrodes.
Is it possible to have a situation where there is only one (either positive or negative) drift current?
Thanks
 
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  • #2
I don't think so, because in electrolysis you're ripping electrons off of their atoms. This results in a separation of charges and if you don't pull the positive ions away you'll quickly run into a situation where the positive charge buildup is so large that you can no longer pull any electrons away, stopping the electrolysis process.
 
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  • #3
But in a conductor, if we apply a potential suddenly, the light electrons can move easily but the heavier positive ions cannot.
 

Related to Electrolysis and drift currents

1. What is electrolysis?

Electrolysis is a process in which an electrical current is used to drive a non-spontaneous chemical reaction. It involves the decomposition of a substance into its constituent elements or compounds through the use of electricity.

2. How does electrolysis work?

Electrolysis works by passing an electrical current through an electrolyte solution, which contains ions that can move freely. The electric current causes the ions to move towards the electrodes, where they undergo oxidation or reduction reactions, resulting in the formation of new substances.

3. What is a drift current?

A drift current is a type of electric current that occurs in a solid material, such as a metal or semiconductor. It is caused by the movement of charged particles, such as electrons or holes, in response to an electric field.

4. How is drift current related to electrolysis?

In electrolysis, the electric current is used to drive the movement of ions in the electrolyte solution. As the ions move towards the electrodes, they create a drift current in the solid electrodes, which is responsible for the chemical reactions that occur.

5. What are some practical applications of electrolysis and drift currents?

Electrolysis and drift currents have numerous practical applications, such as in the production of metals, purification of water, and electroplating. They are also used in batteries, fuel cells, and other electrochemical devices. In addition, drift currents play a crucial role in the functioning of electronic devices, such as transistors and integrated circuits.

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