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Oxidation - Reduction
Electrochemical Cells


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,

ions 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)
   -  and

the electrode 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.

See also

redox reactions, examples of
reduction of copper (II) oxide
oxidation of ethanol
oxidation of ethanol using acidified potassium dichromate (VI)

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