We’re being asked to determine the cathode half-reaction for the electrolysis of a molten salt given a similar cell diagram containing liquid Magnesium, Mg and Cl2 (g).
Recall that during electrolysis, the cation is reduced/gains electrons while the anion is oxidized/loses electrons:
For a redox reaction, we will use the mnemonics LEO GER:
This means that:
We will first write the equation for the formation of the cation and anion during electrolysis.
Magnesium, the element, is produced commercially by electrolysis from a molten salt (the "electrolyte") using a cell similar to the one shown below.
What half-reaction occurs at the cathode?
Frequently Asked Questions
What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?
Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Electrolysis of Water & Mixture of Ions concept. If you need more Electrolysis of Water & Mixture of Ions practice, you can also practice Electrolysis of Water & Mixture of Ions practice problems.