Electrolysis is very important for generating
and separating pure elements from compounds.
One important example is creating hydrogen (and
oxygen) gas. Hydrogen gas is a potential future
fuel for energy storage and powering vehicles. One
way to make hydrogen gas is with the electrolysis
Electrolysis is used to extract and purify many
elements from ore including aluminum, lithium,
sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It can
also be used to produce chlorine gas, sodium
hydroxide, perfluorinated organic compounds, and
many other elements and molecules.
Anodizing metals is another use of
electrolysis. In anodization, electrolysis of an
aqueous acid solution or organic acid is used to
oxidize the surface of a metal in order to create
a passivating oxide layer. This layer prevents the
metal surface from being corroded
A related process, electroplating is used to
coat metals with another type of metal from
solution. For example, instead of making an object
out of pure gold, it could be made with a less
expensive metal and electroplated with gold.
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