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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 15 (2010) pp 36-38

A Versatile Apparatus for a Laboratory Demonstration of Anodic and Cathodic Reactions

Rajeev B Dabke* and Josue Scott

Department of Chemistry, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA 31907,
Received April 22, 2009. Accepted December 22, 2009.

Published: 16 January 2010

Abstract. This demonstration illustrates the oxidation-reduction reactions at anode and cathode, respectively. Flowing electrolyte containing a pH indicator was fed to a Y-shaped electrochemical cell. The outlets of electrochemical cell were connected to two vertically positioned Pasteur pipet fountains. Direct current was applied to generate H3O+ (aq) and OH-(aq) ions at anode and cathode respectively. Electrochemically generated ions at respective electrodes changed the pH and color of the electrolyte flowing through the fountain. Different indicators were used to produce fountains of a variety of colors. Colors of two fountains were exchanged by reversing the electrode polarities. This demonstration can be performed in an undergraduate or high school chemistry laboratory or a classroom.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry

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