In electrochemical cells - be it in
an electrolytic cell or a chemical cell,
oxidation occurs at the anode - and
reduction happens at the cathode.
Oxidation is defined as the loss of electron(s) (see redox reaction)
and reduction is defined as the gain of electron(s).
In both electrolytic and chemical cells,
move in the electrolyte
Electrons travel only in the wires and electrodes.
Hence, for BOTH the electrolytic cell
and the chemical cell,
the electrode that electrons flow from
(seen as LOSING the Electrons) is the anode
(because oxidation occurs at the anode)
that electrons flow to (seen as
GAINING the Electrons) is the cathode
(because reduction occurs at the cathode).
So, to determine which electrode
(is the anode of an
ELECTROCHEMICAL cell (electrolytic cell and the chemical
cell), trace the flow of electrons from which electrode
they flow from.
reduction of copper
oxidation of ethanol
oxidation of ethanol using
acidified potassium dichromate (VI)
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