Chemistry (12th Edition)

Published by Prentice Hall
ISBN 10: 0132525763
ISBN 13: 978-0-13252-576-3

Chapter 21 - Electrochemistry - 21.3 Electrolytic Cells - 21.3 Lesson Check: 20

Answer

Both electrolytic and voltaic cells involve the transit of electrons. The main difference between these two types of cells is that in a voltaic cell, the flow of electrons is caused by a spontaneous redox reaction, whereas in an electrolytic cell, an exterior source of power makes the electrons flow. In other words, in an electrolytic cell, nonspontaneous processes take place.

Work Step by Step

Both electrolytic and voltaic cells involve the transit of electrons. The main difference between these two types of cells is that in a voltaic cell, the flow of electrons is caused by a spontaneous redox reaction, whereas in an electrolytic cell, an exterior source of power makes the electrons flow. In other words, in an electrolytic cell, nonspontaneous processes take place.
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