Chapter Name: Chemical Reactions and Equations
Activity Name: Electrolysis of water in Chemical Reactions and Equations
This experiment demonstrates the electrolysis of water using a 9V battery and carbon electrodes to produce hydrogen and oxygen gases.
- Plastic mug
- Two one-holed rubber stoppers
- Two carbon electrodes
- 9V battery
- Dilute sulphuric acid
- Two test tubes
Step by Step Procedure:
- Take a plastic mug and drill two holes at its base.
- Fit two one-holed rubber stoppers into the holes.
- Insert one carbon electrode into each rubber stopper.
- Connect the carbon electrodes to a 9V battery as shown in the diagram.
- Fill the mug with water so that the electrodes are immersed.
- Add a few drops of dilute sulphuric acid to the water.
- Take two test tubes filled with water and invert them over the two carbon electrodes.
- Switch on the current and leave the apparatus undisturbed for some time.
- Gas bubbles will be observed at both electrodes.
- The gas bubbles displace the water in the test tubes.
- The volume of gas collected in both test tubes will be the same.
- Be cautious while handling the 9V battery and electrical connections.
- Wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and goggles, when working with dilute sulphuric acid.
- Ensure that the test tubes are securely inverted over the electrodes to collect the gases effectively.
Lesson Learnt from Experiment:
Through this experiment, students will learn that the process of electrolysis breaks down water into its constituent gases, hydrogen and oxygen. The positive electrode (anode) attracts negatively charged ions (hydroxide ions – OH-) and generates oxygen gas (O2). The negative electrode (cathode) attracts positively charged ions (hydrogen ions – H+) and produces hydrogen gas (H2).