How do electrolytes conduct electricity without redox?

In summary: This was talk among mods?I mean: it would be surprising if the properties of solvated electron were not already researched and published.
  • #1
lim23472
3
0
Say you have salt water. If you apply an voltage between two electrodes Na+ ions will drift towards the negative electrode and Cl- ions towards the positive electrode. If a redox reaction happens at the electrodes, the ions transfer electrons to the electrodes and current continues to flow until all the ions are reduced/oxidized. Now what happens if there are no redox reactions? Wouldn't the ions just accumulate at the electrodes, eventually screening out the potential and therefore the current would stop flowing? If that's the case how do ppl measure the conductivity of electrolytes? It seems Kohlrausch's law says current will flow even if there is no redox, how is this possible? Or is it only possible to have AC current in such situations?
 
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  • #2
lim23472 said:
therefore the current would stop flowing?
Just like an electrolytic capacitor.
lim23472 said:
how do ppl measure the conductivity of electrolytes?
With AC, at a variety of frequencies, between very carefully constructed and treated electrodes, in very carefully designed and maintained cells, under threat of severe mutilation by graduate advisors.
 
  • #3
Bystander said:
Just like an electrolytic capacitor.

With AC, at a variety of frequencies, between very carefully constructed and treated electrodes, in very carefully designed and maintained cells, under threat of severe mutilation by graduate advisors.

So from the previous two answers, its correct to say that DC current would not flow in an electrolyte without redox?
 
  • #4
DC current flow in an electrolyte solution requires reduction of species at the cell cathode and/or oxidation of some other species at the cell anode. Yes.
 
  • #5
Please treat current in the bulk of the electrolyte separate from the charge transfer through the phase boundary.

Imagine a long copper wire, and imagine you have access to only part of it. You can easily check if there is current flowing through the wire, not bothering about how the circuit is closed. It is not different if you observe a volume of the solution.

In other words - you need a redox reaction to close the circuit (unless you don't*), but you don't need to see whole circuit to observe the current in the solution.

*I wonder if it is possible for the solvated electrons to pass directly through the phase boundary, without a redox reaction. Think alkali metals dissolved in liquid ammonia.
 
  • #6
Borek said:
*I wonder if it is possible for the solvated electrons to pass directly through the phase boundary, without a redox reaction. Think alkali metals dissolved in liquid ammonia.
I could not talk the organickers and p-chem faculty into cooperating on that --- department politics, turf wars. "Not going to have a buncha fussy measurement types in my lab igniting all the solvent fumes," vs. "Not going to have a buncha slovenly organickers making a mess in my lab and corroding all my equipment."
 
  • #7
I doubt is wasn't checked.
 
  • #8
Borek said:
I doubt is wasn't checked.
This was talk among mods?
 
  • #9
I mean: it would be surprising if the properties of solvated electron were not already researched and published.
 

What are electrolytes and how do they conduct electricity?

Electrolytes are substances that can conduct electricity when dissolved in a solution. They contain free ions that can move towards the electrodes, allowing the flow of electric current. This is due to the presence of charged particles or ions in the electrolyte solution.

What is redox and how is it related to electrolytes conducting electricity?

Redox is a chemical reaction in which one substance gains electrons (reduced) while the other substance loses electrons (oxidized). In electrolytes, the ions present in the solution undergo redox reactions at the electrodes, which helps in the conduction of electricity.

How do electrolytes differ from non-electrolytes in terms of conducting electricity?

Electrolytes can conduct electricity due to the presence of free ions, while non-electrolytes cannot conduct electricity as they do not have ions that can move towards the electrodes. Non-electrolytes only allow the flow of electricity through the movement of electrons, which is significantly slower than the movement of ions in electrolytes.

What factors affect the conductivity of electrolytes?

The conductivity of electrolytes can be affected by various factors such as concentration, temperature, and the type of ions present in the solution. Higher concentrations of ions and higher temperatures can increase the conductivity of electrolytes, while the presence of larger ions can decrease it.

Why are electrolytes important in our body and for various industrial processes?

In our body, electrolytes play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of fluids and regulating various bodily functions. In industrial processes, electrolytes are used in various applications such as batteries, electroplating, and electrolysis, where the conduction of electricity is essential for the process to function.

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