Electrolytic cell

background [prelab assignment: (10 points) due at the beginning of the lab]

determine the time to obtain 1.0 g solid Cu using an electrolytic cell containing Cu2+ with a current of 5.0 A.

hypothesis & basis  [see purpose]




electrodes= Cu & C (student determines which is the cathode vs. anode,  i.e. how to connect electrodes to voltage source)

water; acidic solution of copper (II) sulfate (10 g CuSO4 * 5 H2O + 2.5 mL concentrated H2SO4 q.s. 100 mL)

variable power supply; balance; 100 mL volumeric flask

methods / data analysis

student design; recommend ~ 0.5 A @ 20 minutes, so plate ~ 200 mg Cu onto electrode

Content of the lab report [25 points]

hypothesis & basis

data table of your experimental measurements:  # gram Cu plated onto C electrode in high vs. low [Cu2+ ]

calculations for experimental & theoretical # grams of copper plated onto the carbon electrode

statistical analysis [see purpose] & interpretation, i.e. validity of your hypothesis 

error analysis:  compare theoretical vs. experimental amount of Cu plated onto electrode


lab activity source (examples):  site 1 & site 2  [access 4 / 2009]