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A salt bridge ensures that the beakers do not have a build-up of charge. If the beakers are allowed to have charge build-up, then the galvanic cell would stop working because the electrons would not transfer to the reduction reaction beaker because of the buildup of negative charge. The salt bridge balances out the charges by adding ions to the solution.
Some common salts used in a salt bridge are sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and potassium nitrate. The electrolyte chosen must easily dissociate and not react with any of the chemicals in the cell.
nshahwan 1L wrote:Should there be any specific examples of salts that are in salt bridges that we should be aware of?
NaCl is an easy one to remember...the salts are there to balance out the charge and they don't react with the reactants or products.
Since electrons move from the anode to the cathode, the cathode eventually becomes very negatively charged and would stop electrons from moving from anode to cathode because like charges repel. The salt bridge allows ions to move between the anode and cathode to maintain both solutions in a neutral state, like negatively charged ions would move from cathode to anode (or positively charged ions would move from anode to cathode) to help reduce the negative charge in the cathode to allow for more electrons to continue to flow to the cathode.
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