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To add on to the last post, it's when you don't have a (l)/(s) conductor. This confused me at first because sometimes you'll have a liquid, but still need an inert electrode. This is because the liquid MUST be a conductor (so if it isn't, you still need an inert electrode). I hope you found this helpful!
If a redox reaction is happening between two aqueous, two gaseous, or one aqueous and one gaseous states of matter, an inert electrode must be present such as platinum, which is used in most cases, or graphite. There must be some solid electrode present in both the anode and cathode.
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