A galvanic cell transforms chemical energy released by a spontaneous redox reaction into electrical energy. Galvanic cells are extremely useful in everyday life, comprising the batteries that power everything from cell phones to cars.
In this assignment, you will build a variety of galvanic cells and analyze cell potential data.
InstructionsYour task is to plan and conduct a simple experiment to test how the concentration of a half-cell electrolyte solution affects the cell potential (voltage) of a galvanic cell. In Step One, you will practice building various galvanic cells. In Step Two, you will analyze the cell potential data of a galvanic cell of your choice and answer your testable question.
STEP 1: PRE-EXPERIMENT ACTIVITY
Before you begin your data analysis, build the following galvanic cells. After building each cell, complete the following:
DRAW A DIAGRAM REPRESENTING EACH CELL. YOUR DIAGRAMS SHOULD INCLUDE THE LABELS OF ALL SPECIES, THE DIRECTION OF ION FLOW FROM THE SALT BRIDGE, AND THE DIRECTION OF ELECTRON FLOW THROUGH THE WIRES.
WRITE EACH HALF-CELL REACTION.
WRITE THE COMPLETE REDOX REACTION.
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STEP 2: PLANNING THE EXPERIMENT
Choose ONE of the three cells you completed in Step One to study. The results of the experiment are in Step Three.
Determine your independent and dependent variables. In this experiment, you want to test whether the concentration of electrolyte solution affects the cell potential of the galvanic cell. In order to do this, you must change one variable (independent) and see how it affects the other variable (dependent).
Once you have decided on your independent and dependent variables, write your testable question .
Propose a reasonable hypothesis for the experiment. Your hypothesis should explain how the change in your independent variable will affect your dependent variable. Provide any relevant theory to back up your prediction.
Create a materials list needed to build your galvanic cell.
Devise a procedure that could be performed to obtain the given results (below). This includes the steps required to build the cell and to measure the cell potential at different electrolyte concentrations.
STEP 3: ANALYZING THE EXPERIMENT
Choose ONE galvanic cell to analyze the results of.
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Analyze the data from to your chosen galvanic cell by completing the following questions/steps:
From the data, what is the standard cell potential of your galvanic cell? How do you know?
Calculate the ratio of product to reactant electrolyte concentrations for each measurement. This is called the reaction quotient . Put these values into a chart similar to Table 1 below, ordering your quotient values from least to greatest. Note: Table 1 shows the start of the table for the Zinc/Copper cell. If you have chosen a different cell to analyze, be sure to adjust your chart accordingly using the appropriate data set. In the second column of your chart, take the log of each Q value. In the final column, insert the appropriate cell potential.
Create a graph with log Q on the x-axis and the cell potential (E°cell) on the y-axis. What type of relationship is this?
Use your table to help you locate the point on your graph at which the ratio of reactant to product concentration (Q) is equal to 1. What is the cell potential at this point? What is the relevance of this point?
Where on the graph is Q1? What does this mean in relation to electrolyte concentrations?
What does the graph tell you about how the cell potential of a galvanic cell changes as the cell operates? (Hint: Remember, galvanic cells are spontaneous reactions, which indicates the direction in which the reaction proceeds.)
STEP 4: COMMUNICATING YOUR RESULTS
Once you have analyzed the results, communicate your experimental plan and findings in a lab report.
Your lab report should include the following sections: variables, testable question, hypothesis, materials, procedure, observations, results, discussion, and conclusion.
Include your cell diagram from Step One as well as your step by step instructions in the procedure. The observations section should include your half-cell reactions and balance redox reaction from Step One, as well as any qualitative evidence of the cell’s redox reaction. The results section should include all tables and graphs. The discussion section should include all of answers to the analysis questions from Step Three.
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