Explain how the chemical reaction in a cell causes the electric current to flow? Also, explain the function of electrolyte in the cell.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
In an electrochemical cell, there are two reactions are occurring. One oxidation and one reduction reaction. In a reduction, electrons are gained by the system and in oxidation electrons are lost. By arranging these reactions in an electrochemical cell, with an external circuit, we can measure the amount of electron flow that occurs. This flow of electrons leads to the flow of current. The flowing current can be used for power. Electrolytes are there to be a source of ions. Either forming ions during oxidation or being consumed during reduction. The electrochemical cell has a salt bridge which helps carry ions from one cell to another to counter the flow of electrons. Not all reactions will be an oxidation-reduction reaction so we won't always see the flow of current for chemical reactions.
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial