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I'm confused about how an electrochemical cell operates. I understand that oxidation occurs at the anode and reduction occurs at the cathode, but overall what is the charge of the cell and what is the meaning of this circuit?
Basically how a cell works is that it separates two materials that can create a redox reaction, but allows them to be connected by a material that can conduct electricity. When this connection is made, the two species are allowed to react, and electrons flow through the circuit, powering it. When these materials reach equilibrium, electricity doesn't flow anymore, and the battery dies. For rechargeable batteries, the reaction is reversible, and forcing electrons through the system in the opposite way they're released reverses the reaction, renewing the energy source.
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