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How do you know which is the anode and which is the cathode?

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:19 pm
by Jenna Smith 3F
I know that left side is associated with the anode and oxidation, while the right is associated with the cathode and reduction, but how do you tell them apart when you are only given the elements involved? For example, Q8 on the Winter 2016 Midterm only mentions that a silver electrode is placed into a 1.0 M Ag+ solution and a cadmium electrode is placed into a 1.0 M Cd2+ solution. In cases like this, how do you know which is which?

Re: How do you know which is the anode and which is the cathode?

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:37 pm
by Noor_Burney_1L
When you look up the standard reduction potential values, you identify which Enot value is the most positive, and which Enot value is the most negative.
The most positive Enot value tells you which is being reduced, and the the most negative Enot value tells you which is being oxidized. So for question 8 of the midterm, because the standard reduction potential for silver is +0.80 V, you know that silver is being reduced. And because the standard reduction potential for cadmium is -0.40 V, you know that cadmium is being oxidized.

Re: How do you know which is the anode and which is the cathode?

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:30 pm
by Jenna Smith 3F
Thanks. In the case of Q8 the Winter 2014 Midterm, though, how come the one with the more positive value is the anode?

Re: How do you know which is the anode and which is the cathode?

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:06 pm
by Patrick_Mac_3D
You are being asked for the acid dissociation constant (Ka) for HF. Therefore, you need to end up with the form HF-->H^+ + F^-. Then, you would have to flip the top reaction to resemble oxidation. I hope this helps.