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Electrolysis of brine at home...

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    Electrolysis of brine at home...

    I tried to carry out electrlysis of brine at home using the following apparatus:
    Copper electrodes
    9 V battery
    Two test tubes
    a glass bowl (the electrolytic cell)

    During the course of the electrolysis, hydrogen was collected at the cathode (I also carried out a 'pop' test) but the water level in the other test tube didn't lower at all. The expected result should have been Chlorine gas. The experiment was carried out where there was no sunlight so no chances of the formation of HOCl. The solution in the bowl turned yellow-brown. The copper anode dissolved.
    If the resultant solution was NaOH, it didnt have the soapy feeling it was supposed to have. So what could the resultant solution be?

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    Get Back to Where you Once Belonged!

    #2
    ummm.....It wouldnt be very soapy at concentration as low as that....

    Havent done chemistry in long time...have to look it up..

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      #3
      come on guys...help the little dude... I know atleast 3 chemistry ppl on gupshup

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        #4
        Amother thing I noticed was that the anode partly dissolved and had partly turned greenish, could that be CuCl2?

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        Get Back to Where you Once Belonged!

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          #5
          Okay, I'm in the second year of a chemistry degree, so I may have a clue....

          Okay, you are definately producing H+ cations, so somewhere in you system you are getting OH- anions being evolved. Also, you noticed that the copper anode was corroding and turning green, indicating a reaction at the anode involving the copper.

          Note that as the anode is eroding, something must be happing to the copper atoms there... they are going into solution, as Cu2+ ions. The counter-ion to these copper cations cannot be OH-, as Cu(OH)2 is insoluble and precipitates out.

          My guess it that what happened is that you are evolving chloride anions at the anode, which are immediately reacting with the anode to produce CuCl2, which dissolves in the solution.

          Hence the the resulting solution was a mixture of CuCl2, probably accounting for the colour, and NaOH.

          I believe the reason that the solution did not feel soapy as you expected is that it was at very low concentration. Electrolysis is often a slow process.


          Hey who---me, who are the other chemistry guppies?
          Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
          Al-Ghazali

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            #6
            Is there any way to check alkalinity with any home equipment (I've heard that red cabbages can act as indicator(?))

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            Get Back to Where you Once Belonged!

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              #7
              oh I actually did this experiment..... about 7 years ago and I can't remember a thing about it. Sorry.......
              Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
              Al-Ghazali

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                #8
                ummm

                termeric.....yes.... that haldi in urdu....that'll change colour.... to red I think

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