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Standard Hydrogen Electrode

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:56 pm
by Kassandra Molina 2B
What is the best way to identify a cathode and an anode in a cell diagram?
I thought I understood it but I got confused while reading the book. On pg 578 it says that the cell potential will be attributed to the copper electrode because the standard hydrogen electrode is always zero, but for the zinc electrode the hydrogen electrode is the cathode making the zinc the anode?? Both cell reactions are also written the same so how do I tell which one is a cathode and anode?

Re: Standard Hydrogen Electrode

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:38 pm
by Samantha Kan 2L
The standard hydrogen electrode is the cathode or the anode depending on what else is in the system (like copper or zinc). How you can tell whether the standard hydrogen electrode is the cathode or anode is based on the cell potential. The cell potential should be positive, so according to the equation E(cell) = E(cathode)- E(anode), you can tell whether or not the standard hydrogen electrode is the cathode or anode.