Electrochemical Cells

by Gary L. Bertrand

University of Missouri-Rolla

Background Acknowledgement Simulation

by Gary L. Bertrand

University of Missouri-Rolla

Background Acknowledgement Simulation

This is an interactive
simulation of electrochemical cells, involving various metal
electrodes. The electrode is immersed in a solution of its
nitrate salt. Various cells may be constructed and the expected
voltage of a cell is displayed. Calculations are based on the
Nernst Equation using reasonable approximations for activity
coefficients and the assumption of zero junction potential across the
sodium nitrate salt bridge. Cells may be constructed in order to
solve problems presented at several levels, using measured voltages and
an abbreviated Table of Standard Reduction Potentials,
included in the program.

Level:

(0) The student may construct cells with various electrodes (including the Pt/Hydrogen

electrode) and concentrations, and the voltages of these cells may be measured.

(1) A cell is presented, and the student is asked to calculate the cell's standard potential (E

(2) There is a fictitious metal/salt pair, Whodatium (Wd)/Whodatium (II) Nitrate. The user

is asked to determine the standard reduction potential (E

(3) The student is asked to design a cell which will produce a specified standard potential (E

(4) A cell is presented (with concentrations), and the student is asked to calculate the

expected voltage (E) of the cell.

(5) The electrode menu contains five fictitious metals: Fonium (Fo), Imagium (Im),

Mysterium (My), Oddmium (Od), and Whodatium (Wd). These metals have different

properties in each problem. The user is asked to determine the activity series for these

metals. In the activity series, the most active metal has the most negative reduction

potential and the least active metal has the most positive reduction potential.

(6) The user must determine the mean ionic activity coefficient of Whodatium (II) Nitrate

in a 1.00 M solution. (Physical Chemistry Level)

Answers to the problems are checked by the program.

Thanks to Michael Cheney, AP Chemistry Instructor at Crestview High School, Crestview, FL

for the idea for this simulation, and for many helpful suggestions in the development.