Zinc metal is obtained from molten zinc chloride
name: Electrolysis of molten zinc chloride
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This experiment must be performed in a well-ventilated room or in a fume hood.
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Zn2+ + 2 e- → Zn
2 Cl- - 2 e- → Cl2
- Secure a crucible on a tripod using a pipeclay triangle.
- Secure a bung with two graphite electrodes so that electrodes are placed in the crucible but don't touch the bottom of the crucible. Connect the electrodes with a low voltage (0-12 V) powerpack and an ammeter. Current should be about 0.5 A during the experiment. 3. Put some zinc chloride into the crucible.
- Heat the crucible to melt zinc chloride.
- After 15 minutes stop heating and remove the electrodes from the crucible. Zinc crystals are obtained on the cathode.
Salts conduct electricity in a molten state. When the current passes through the melt, zinc ions reduce forming zinc metal on the cathode. Chlorine ions oxidize on the anode and chlorine gas is formed in this reaction.