Cell Diagram Conventions  [ENDORSED]

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Athena Dong 2A
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Cell Diagram Conventions

Postby Athena Dong 2A » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:23 pm

I noticed that it appears a cell diagram will conventionally have the anode on the left and the cathode on the right. Are there instances when the positions of the anode and cathode would be switched ( i.e. anode on right and cathode on left )?
From what I'm understanding, the first diagram would apply to a galvanic cell and the second to an electrolytic one,,,? or am I just really confused?


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Re: Cell Diagram Conventions  [ENDORSED]

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:15 am

The convention for galvanic cells is anode|cathode. An electrolytic cell is written in the same fashion of anode|cathode. The important thing to note is that even though the cells are written as anode|cathode, the current, which should flow from anode to cathode, may actually flow from cathode to anode due to the reduction potentials. In the case of the current flowing from anode to cathode, the cell potential is positive whereas for the opposite (cathode to anode), the cell potential is negative.

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Re: Cell Diagram Conventions

Postby ERIKTORRESDisc3C » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:44 pm

I have seen that when it comes to cell diagrams the elements in the same states (aq,l, g, etc) are not separated by a single line but by a comma. but what happens when you get multiple states on the anode side or cathode side? If there are three states such as solid, liquid, and gas, is there a specific order to write them in???? i.e. (s)|(l)|(aq)||(aq)|(s)?

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Re: Cell Diagram Conventions

Postby Marisa_Woo_2G » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:14 pm

I believe that generally the format is to put "Electrode- Anode (Solid) I Aqueous solution- Anode (aq) II Aqueous solution- Cathode (aq) I Electrode- Cathode (Solid)".

The comma refers to if the redox reaction does not have a solid that can be used as an electrode. In this case, platinum may be used as the electrode solid, while the components of the aqueous solution are separated by a comma since they are of the same state/phase. The "I" line divides substances that are in different states/phases.

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