Problem: You construct an electrochemical cell in which you want to oxidize Ag to Ag + and reduce Ni2+ to Ni. At standard conditions, what type of cell is this, and will this reaction be spontaneous?A. Electrolytic, non-spontaneous.B. Electrolytic, spontaneous.C. Voltaic, non-spontaneous.D. Voltaic, spontaneous.

FREE Expert Solution

We are asked to identify what type of cell is this and if this reaction will be spontaneous.


Voltaic cell (Galvanic Cell)

  • Spontaneous
  • responsible for the production of electrical energy
  • electrons are supplied by the species getting oxidized
  •  reaction at the anode is oxidation and that at the cathode is reduction


Electrolytic cell

  • non-spontaneous
  • electrical energy has to be supplied to initiate the reaction
  • external battery supplies the electrons
  • reaction at the anode is oxidation and that at the cathode is reduction


Recall that the greater the E°cell of a redox reaction, the more likely the reaction will occur (more spontaneous reaction)

E°cell > 0 → spontaneous in the forward direction
E°cell < 0 → nonspontaneous in the forward direction


We go through the following steps to identify the cell: 

Step 1. Gather reduction potentials

Step 2. Identify the oxidation and reduction half-reactions

Step 3. Calculate cell potential

Step 4. Identify the type of cell


View Complete Written Solution
Problem Details

You construct an electrochemical cell in which you want to oxidize Ag to Ag and reduce Ni2+ to Ni. At standard conditions, what type of cell is this, and will this reaction be spontaneous?

A. Electrolytic, non-spontaneous.

B. Electrolytic, spontaneous.

C. Voltaic, non-spontaneous.

D. Voltaic, spontaneous.