What are Galvanic Cell & Electrolytic Cell

Galvanic Cell

1. It is a device to convert chemical energy into electrical energy, i.e., electrical energy is produced as a result of the redox reaction taking place. Hence, free energy change (ΔG) is negative.

2. It is based upon the redox reaction which is spontaneous.

3. Two electrodes are usually set up in two separate beakers.

4. The electrolytes taken in the two beakers are different.

5. The electrodes taken are of different materials.

6. The electrode on which oxidation takes place is calledthe anode (or negative pole) and the electrode onwhich reduction takes place is called the cathode (orpositive pole)

7. To set up this cell, a salt bridge/porous pot is used.

Electrolytic Cell

1. It is a device to convert electrical energy into chemical energy, i.e., electrical energy issupplied to the electrolytic solution to bring about the redox reaction (i.e.electrolysis).Hence, free energy change (ΔG) is positive.

2. The redox reaction is non-spontaneous and takesplace only when electrical energy is supplied.

3. Both the electrodes are suspended in the solution or melt of the electrolyte in the same beaker.

4. Only one electrolyte is taken.

5. The electrodes taken may be of the same or different materials.

6.The electrode which is connected to the negativeterminal of the battery is called the cathode ; the cations migrate to it which gain electrons andhence reduction takes place here. The other electrode is called the anode.

7. No salt bridge is used in this case.

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