Can you Study Electrochemistry without understanding Solutions in Class 12?

 Electrochemistry is the study of the behaviour of the relationship that exists between electrical energy and chemical energy. There are chemical reactions, which are known to produce electrical potential, and thus electrical energy. Conversely, electrical energy is also used to produce chemical reactions. The study of electrochemistry is based precisely on this converse relationship between electrical and chemical energy.

Electrochemistry is the learning of creation of electricity from energy released during spontaneous chemical reactions and the use of electrical energy to create non-spontaneous chemical transformations. The point to note here is that while creating electrical energy from chemical, the reaction must be spontaneous whereas when we use electrical energy for chemical energy transformation, it must be a non-spontaneous reaction.  The topic is of significance both for theoretical and practical considerations. A large number of metals, and chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, chlorine, fluorine and many others are produced by electrochemical means. Batteries and fuel cells transform chemical energy into electrical energy and are now used on a large scale in many instruments and devices. The reactions carried out through electrochemical means are energy efficient and less polluting. Thus, study of electrochemistry is significant for creating new expertise that are environment friendly. In fact, the conduction of sensory signals through cells to brain and vice versa and communication between the cells are also electrochemical in nature.

The chapter of Solutions is covered in class 11th of the CBSE syllabus. The chapter contains topics related to what constitutes a solution, ideal and non ideal solutions, various standard units of representing concentrations in a solution and also important chemical laws such as Henry’s Law and Raoult’s Law. Other important topics that are covered in this chapter is about the colligative properties and abnormal colligative properties of some solutes in a solution. The important learning from the chapter of solutions that finds application in the study of electrochemistry is the topic of concentrations. If a student is clear with his understanding of what is a solution, how it is made, and how solution concentrations are represented in various standard forms, then the study of electrochemistry becomes simpler. The reason for the above is that electrolytes form an essential part of study for electrochemistry chapter, and these electrolytes are basically solutions of a given concentration, necessary to sustain the chemical reaction inside the battery or cell.

If one observes the important topics of the chapter Electrochemistry, then they can be broadly listed as follows,

  • Explain and draw the components of a standard electrochemical cell
  • Distinguish between an electrolytic cell and a galvanic cell
  • Learn about Nernst Equation, and its application for calculation of electromotive force of a galvanic cell
  • Understand and explain important technical terms of electrochemistry such as standard potential of cell, EMF, anodes, cathodes etc
  • Develop the relationship that connects standard cell potential, Gibbs energy of cell reaction and the equilibrium constant.
  • Explain the idea of resistivity, conductivity, molar conductivity of ionic solutions.
  • Distinguish between ionic and electronic conductivity.
  • Knowledge of the measurement technique of conductivity of electrolytic solutions and computation of their molar conductivity
  • Explain how the conductivity and molar conductivity of solutions changes with respect to the change in concentrations, as well as explain the concept of Infinite Dilution
  • Kohlrausch law and its application in the field of electrochemistry.
  • Knowledge of electrolysis and industrial applications
  • Construction and working of primary and secondary batteries, fuel cells
  • Understand corrosion

If we observe the content of the chapter of electrochemistry, it is evident that the solutions plays an important role in this chapter. The concept of conductivity, resistivity and its relationship to the concentration of the solution is proof enough that without a sound understanding of the concentrations, the chapter will be slightly difficult to follow. However, to be very honest, it should not take the learner more than an hour to grasp these concepts of Solutions.

One good thing for student nowadays is that there is a wide variety of learning material available for them to refer. Many coaching institutes have made easy to comprehend materials, along with animations, to help grasping of the concepts much easier. More importantly, there are also video lectures available on various sites that build on the topic, right from the fundamentals. It is expected that a modern student will make noteworthy use of these internet offerings. Another important factor that distinguishes a smart student from others is the ability to make own notes. A smart student will always make their own notes, and will attempt as many multiple choice questions and tests to check how capable he is in that particular chapter. A poor score will only help the student to focus better and iron out the weak areas in his study.

Important questions from the chapter: What do you understand by standard e.m.f. of a cell? Derive a relationship between standard emf of a cell and equilibrium constant.

Thus to sum up, a basic understanding of the chapter solutions of class 11th will be beneficial for the learning of chapter on electrochemistry.

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