Electrolysis – Parts of an electrolytic Cell

Electrolysis – Parts of an electrolytic cell

Electrolysis is the process of using electricity to break down or decompose a compound (usually an ionic compound in the molten state or in aqueous solution)

Electrolysis is carried out in an electrolytic cell.

Parts of an electrolytic cell:


  • Draws electrons away from anode.
  • Electrons enter the positive terminal of battery and leave from the negative terminal.
  • Electrons are supplied to the cathode, which becomes negatively charged.


  • An electrolyte is a molten ionic compound or an aqueous solution that can be decomposed by an electric current to form cations and anions.
  • Contains mobile ions, hence allow electricity to flow through.
  • Substances that do not conduct electricity under any condition are called non-electrolyte.
  • Example: Sulfur, sugar, distilled water, organic compounds.


  • Electrodes conduct electricity.
  • Electrodes connected to the positive terminal of the battery is called the anode.
  • Electrodes connected to the negative terminal of the battery is called the cathode.
  • Usually carbon (graphite) rods or metal plates.
  • Inert electrodes do not affect the type of product produced at the electrode.
  • Examples of inert electrodes: platinum, carbon (graphite)

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