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CHEM102: General Chemistry II

Unit 4: Electrochemistry   You may think that electricity and chemistry have little to do with another.  However, electrochemistry enables us to use batteries—from the AA ones you have in your remote to the lead acid versions that start our cars.   In this unit, we will learn that electrochemistry offers us more than just batteries, however; many electrochemical concepts—from free energy to electron movement—apply to acid-base chemistry as well.  For the purposes of simplification, you might think of acid-base chemistry as “proton chemistry” and electrochemistry as “electron chemistry.”

4.1 Oxidation-Reduction Reactions   4.1.1 Electrons in Redox Reactions   Note: To remember oxidation and reduction, use the mnemonic device “OIL RIG,” where OIL means Oxidation Is Losing (electrons) and RIG means Reduction Is Gaining (electrons).

  • Reading: Aus-e-Tute’s notes on Oxidation Reduction Reactions Link: Aus-e-Tute’s notes on Oxidation Reduction Reactions (HTML and Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please read this section to gain a general understanding of oxidation-reduction reactions.  This section also provides definitions for all the components of oxidation-reduction reactions.

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  • Reading: Chemistry Lecture Notes: Kurt M. Wicks’ notes on Oxidation Reduction Reactions Link: Chemistry Lecture Notes: Kurt M. Wick’s notes on Oxidation Reduction Reactions (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this section beginning with the title Oxidation and Reductionfor some additional information on oxidation-reduction reactions.  

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: Stephen Lower’s notes on Electricity and Chemistry Link: General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: Stephen Lower’s notes on Electricity and Chemistry (HTML)
     
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    Instructions: Please read this section to gain a general understanding of the relationship between electricity and chemistry.  This section provides an in-depth introduction to electrochemistry.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

4.1.2 Half-Reactions   - Reading: University of Waterloo: Chung Chieh’s notes on Half Reactions Link: University of Waterloo: Chung Chieh’s notes on Half Reactions (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this section to gain a general understanding of how to balance oxidation reduction reactions using the half reaction method.  

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4.1.3 Reducing and Oxidizing Agents   Note: Reducing agents are themselves oxidized, and oxidizing agents are themselves reduced.  The names are therefore misleading and counterintuitive; be sure to keep them straight!

  • Reading: Chemistry Lecture Notes: Kurt M. Wicks’ notes on Reducing and Oxidizing Agents Link: Chemistry Lecture Notes: Kurt M. Wick’s notes on Reducing and Oxidizing Agents (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this section to gain a general understanding of oxidation reduction chemistry.
     
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4.2 Reduction Potentials   4.2.1 Standard Reduction Potentials   - Reading: Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation: Standard Reduction Potentials Link: Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation: Standard Reduction Potentials (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this section beginning with the title Electrochemical and Electrolytic Cells: Standard Reduction Potentialsto gain a general understanding of how standard cell potentials are generally calculated.  This section also provides several example problems involving standard cell potentials.
 
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4.3 Electrochemical Cell Potentials   Note: The term “standard” refers to “standard conditions,” which include 1 atm of air pressure and 1 molar concentration.

  • Reading: Purdue University Chemistry: William R. Robinson’s notes on Electrochemical Cell Potentials Link: Purdue University Chemistry: William R. Robinson’s notes on Reaction Electrochemical Cell Potentials (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this section to gain a general understanding of how to use standard cell potential.  This section also provides several example problems that illustrate how cell potentials are calculated for electrochemical reactions.
     
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4.3.1 Electrochemical Cells   4.3.1.1 Galvanic Cell   - Reading: General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: Stephen Lower’s notes on Galvanic Cell Link: General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: Stephen Lower’s notes on Galvanic Cell (HTML)
 
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Instructions: Please read this section to gain a general understanding of how galvanic cells produce electrical energy using oxidation reduction reactions.  This section also contains a nine minute video lecture; please click on the icon to watch it once you have completed the reading.

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 2.5 Generic
license](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/).

4.3.1.2 Electrolytic Cell   - Reading: General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: Stephen Lower’s notes on Electrolysis Link: General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: Stephen Lower’s notes on Electrolysis (HTML)
 
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Instructions: Please read this section to gain a general understanding of how electricity can be used to promote non-spontaneous chemical reactions.  This section contains several example problems that illustrate the concept of electrolysis and its application in everyday life.  
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

4.4 Faraday’s Constant and Electroplating   Note: Although it may appear complex, electroplating is really just an electrolytic cell in disguise.  Once you understand how an electrolytic cell works, you can use the equation that solves for the mole of electrons transferred along with Faraday’s constant to figure out how much metal is plated.  

  • Reading: UC Davis: Chemwiki’s “Electrolytic Cells” Link: UC Davis: Chemwiki’s “Electrolytic Cells” (PDF)

    Instructions:  Please read the entire page, which describes Faraday’s Law and how it can be applied to stoichiometry and electroplating.  There are nine problems with solutions at the end of the reading to help you assess your mastery of the material.  This material should take approximately 1.5 hours to complete.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  UC Davis ChemWiki by University of Califonia, Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License

4.5 Nernst Equation and Gibbs Free Energy   - Reading: General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: Stephen Lower’s notes on Galvanic Cell Link: General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: Stephen Lower’s notes on The Nernst Equation (HTML)

 Also available in:  
 [ZIP file](http://www.chem1.com/acad/webtext/download.html)  

 Instructions: Please read this section for a general understanding
of how the Nernst equation is used in electrochemistry.      

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 2.5 Generic
license](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/).