Finding which of two metals in an electrochemical cell reduces

In summary, to determine which metal is the reducing agent in an electrochemical cell, one can observe the direction of electron flow in the cell. A voltmeter can also be used to measure the potential difference between the two electrodes, with the metal at the anode being the reducing agent. The standard reduction potential of a metal also plays a role, as the metal with a more negative standard reduction potential will be the reducing agent. The electrolyte solution in the cell affects the reduction potential of the metals and can impact which metal is the reducing agent. The activity series can also be used to determine the reducing agent, with the metal at the top of the series being the most reactive and therefore the reducing agent. However, this is only applicable
  • #1
physicsperson
20
1
For an electrochemical cell containing two metals how do I figure out which one reduces and which one oxidizes using standard reduction potentials? Thank you very much for the help.
 
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  • #2
physicsperson said:
For an electrochemical cell containing two metals how do I figure out which one reduces and which one oxidizes using standard reduction potentials? Thank you very much for the help.

Study from a General Chemistry textbook. The principles will be well explained.
 
  • #3
the species having the more positive standard reduction potential is the oxidizing agent.

the greater the value, the more feasible is the reaction.
 

Related to Finding which of two metals in an electrochemical cell reduces

1. How do I determine which metal in an electrochemical cell is the reducing agent?

The reducing agent in an electrochemical cell is the metal that undergoes oxidation, meaning it loses electrons. To determine which metal is the reducing agent, you can observe the direction of electron flow in the cell. The metal at the anode, where oxidation occurs, is the reducing agent.

2. Can I use a voltmeter to find which metal in an electrochemical cell reduces?

Yes, a voltmeter can be used to determine which metal is the reducing agent in an electrochemical cell. By measuring the potential difference between the two electrodes, you can determine which metal has a higher tendency to lose electrons and is therefore the reducing agent.

3. How does the standard reduction potential affect which metal in an electrochemical cell reduces?

The standard reduction potential is a measure of a metal's tendency to gain electrons. The metal with a more negative standard reduction potential will be the reducing agent in the electrochemical cell, as it has a greater tendency to lose electrons and undergo oxidation.

4. What role does the electrolyte solution play in determining which metal in an electrochemical cell reduces?

The electrolyte solution in an electrochemical cell provides the medium for ions to flow between the two electrodes. It also affects the reduction potential of the metals by providing a source of ions for the reduction reactions to occur. The type and concentration of the electrolyte can impact which metal is the reducing agent.

5. Can I use the activity series to determine which metal in an electrochemical cell reduces?

Yes, the activity series is a list of metals in order of their reactivity. The metal at the top of the activity series will be the reducing agent in an electrochemical cell, as it has the highest tendency to lose electrons. However, this is only applicable for single replacement reactions and not for all electrochemical cells.

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