February 2, 2023

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HOW DOES A CELL PRODUCES ELECTRICAL ENERGY?

2 min read

Flow of electrons between the electrodes in a cell results in current production. The negative electrode, anode, releases electrons which travels to the cathode.

Normally, electrodes must be in contact with the electrolytes. When the electrode, a metal, is in contact with the solution of its ion (electrolyte), a potential difference is set up. The readiness or speed of electron flow depends on the magnitude of the difference between the two electrode potentials.

Using the above diagram, a potential difference, which is the energy of the electrical charge measured by its power to do work, is set up between Zn/ZnSO4 and Cu/CuSO4. The atoms of zinc electrode go into solution and lose two electrons. These electrons flow along the wire to the copper electrode. Before getting to the copper electrode, it would have been used to power other devices or to perform operations on devices like torch, radio, lamps etc.

Generally, electrolytes may be used up or replaced. Based on this, cells are classified as primary cell and secondary cell. A primary cell is a cell that can be used once and not rechargeable. Examples are Le’clanche cell and Daniel cell. Le’clanche cells are used in torches, radio and in wall clock. Most devices using primary cells in the past are now re-configured to use secondary cell.

A secondary cell is a cell that can be recharges after use. Examples are Lead accumulators, which are the batteries used in vehicles, Li – ion batteries which are used in laptops and mobile phones.

COMMON CELL/BATTERY COMPONENTS

Cell/Battery Electrolyte Anode (Negative electrode) Cathode (Positive electrode)
Le’clanche cell Ammonium chloride paste Zinc (Vessel) Carbon (Rod)
Daniel Cell Copper (II) tetraoxosulphate (VI) solution Zinc (Rod) Copper (Vessel)
Lead Accumulator Dilute tetraoxosulphate (VI) acid Lead (Rod) Lead (IV) oxide (Rod)
Lithium Ion Battery Lithium complex salts in the paste Lithium (Vessel) Graphite

 

1 thought on “HOW DOES A CELL PRODUCES ELECTRICAL ENERGY?

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