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On Wednesday's lecture, Professor Lavelle mentions how SO42- and SO42- is used to to prevent build up of positive charge in the anode and negative charge in the cathode via a salt bridge or porous disc. How exactly does it prevent the build up?
If you have a voltaic cell, the anode is continuously losing electrons and the cathode is continuously gaining electrons. If this were to continue, one side would be negatively charged and the other, positively charged. At one point, electron transfer would stop from anode to cathode because the anode will begin wanting to keep its electrons (so much positive charge build-up because giving away electrons) and the cathode would want get rid of electrons (so much negative-charge build-up because gaining electrons). A porous disc or salt bridge helps keep the solutions electrically neutral by allowing the free flow of ions (by allowing the SO4 2- to help neutralize the resulting positive charge build-up at the anode). Thus, the voltaic cell can keep functioning.
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