IB Chemistry - Oxidation

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Word etymology 'electro' + 'lysis' = electricity + breaking apart. Electrolysis is the process of breaking an ionic compound into simpler substances using an electrical current.

Syllabus reference

Reactivity 3.2.8 - An electrolytic cell is an electrochemical cell that converts electrical energy to chemical energy by bringing about non-spontaneous reactions.

  • Explain how current is conducted in an electrolytic cell.
  • Deduce the products of the electrolysis of a molten salt.


  • Construction of electrolytic cells should include: DC power source connected to anode and cathode, electrolyte.

Tools and links

  • Structure 2.1 - Under what conditions can ionic compounds act as electrolytes?

In Chapter 9.5