MYP 10

10.2.2: Electrolytic cells

E-assessement - B1: Periodic Table:

  • extraction of metals
  • electrochemical cells


  • Understand that redox reactions can produce electricity
  • Know the difference between voltage and current in electrical circuits
  • To build a simple electrochemical cell using two half-cells.
  • To know that an external potential difference can drive a redox reaction in reverse
  • To know the extraction of aluminium and reactive metals
  • To appreciate the ubiquitous nature of rechargeable and disposible power sources.

Activity - Class demonstration

Discussion of redox reactions, reversing the potential and electrolysis.

Demonstration of the electrolysis of molten lead(II) bromide.

PbBr2(l) arrow Pb(l) + Br2(g)

Note: This must be carried out in the fume hood in a clean nickel crucible. It should be possible to melt the lead(II) bromide first in a nickel crucible and then attach the negative terminal of the power supply to the nickel crucible itself and then lower a graphite rod connected to the positive terminal directly down into the molten salt.

This can then be linked to the extraction of the group 1 and 2 metals.

Student activity

The students can set up an cell to examine the products when copper(II) chloride solution is electrolysed.

Include a voltmeter across the electrodes to monitor the potential used.


Electrolysis is kid's stuff



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