Practical application of Electrolysis in the industries & requirement of theoretical knowledge

Students in the class often feel bored when the chapter of electrolysis is being taught in the class. Theoretical lectures for 45 minutes cannot arise interest in the minds of the students. They require some interesting way of learning new concepts. When a student can feel the concepts that they are reading then only the interest can be raised properly. This is why it is very important that a student must understand the practical application of Electrolysis. The future prospect of the study and in which industries it will be applicable.

Before understanding the practical application of Electrolysis first let’s understand the meaning of it.

What is Electrolysis?

By the passing electric current through an electrolyte a chemical change is produced is known as electrolysis.

Application of Electrolysis in the practical field:-


There is various application of electrolysis in the practical field. But the matter of fact is very few students know it well. So, let’s explore the applications of it in proper details to get the better idea of it.

  • Extraction of Metals
    On the basis of the physical states of the ore, there are two methods of extraction. In the first process, the ore is treated with a very strong acid in order to obtain the salt solution. The basic objective is to liberate the metal by applying electrolysis. In the
    second stage, the ore is in a molten state and in the furnace it is electrolyzed.

Now let’s see on the extraction of which metals the process of electrolysis is required.

1) Extraction of Zinc:-

The ore of zinc is basically treated with Sulphuric acid. The solution of zinc sulphate that is obtained as a result of it is then electrolyzed. In the electrolytic tank, the cathodes are of aluminium and the anodes are of lead. The density of current here
maintained is of 1000A/m 2 and on the cathode the Zinc is deposited. The level of energy consumption is about 3000to 5000kwh per tonnage.

2) Extraction of Aluminum:-

The ores of aluminium are cryolite and bauxite. These are basically treated chemically and then dissolved in fused cryolite and then electrolyzed in the furnace. At the cathode tube, the aluminium which gets deposited settles down at the bottom
of it. The 1000 0 C is being maintained in the furnace in order to keep the electrolyte in the fused state. In order to complete this process in a proper manner, 4000 Ampere of current is required. The energy consumption in the entire process
involves 20000KWH to 25000KWH tone.

  • Refining the metals:-
    One of the basic advantages of the extraction of metal by the process of electrolysis is that the purity of the material is near about 100%. The anode here is basically made up of extracted metal. The cathode is deposited of pure metal. In the
    copper refining process, the energy consumption is of 150-300kwh/ tone refined copper.
  • Chemical production:-
    Many chemicals such as chlorine gas or caustic soda can easily be manufactured in large quantity by the process of electrolysis. Hydrogen, Potassium permanganate and oxygen are produced on a large scale by the process of electrolysis.
  • Electroplating:-
    The metals that are of cheap quality can be covered by the process of electrolysis. This process protects the metals from corrosion. This also gives a shiny appearance to the articles. Apart from this it also provides reflecting properties to the reflectors. Thus replaces work out of the material.
  • Electro typing:-
    By the process of electroplating, the woodcuts are processed by electroplating. A film of copper is formed on the prepared surface. They are first made up of wax and then it is coated with a lead of black metallic surface. Thus giving a polish look to the surface.

Thus, from the above explanation, it has become clear how electrolysis is not just a chapter in chemistry. But it has a whole lot of impact in day to day life of every person and to various industries. Just students need to understand the concept in a very clear manner. This is how practical knowledge can provide them with the interest the student required. This is why the practical scenario must be focused first by the teacher before teaching any concept.

The concept of Electrolysis is widely used in various job sectors. But most of us do not know these facts. In most of the Government job examination, the concept of electrolysis is a major chapter of General awareness section especially in SSC CGL, SSC primary examinations and in defence jobs. The application of this concept is widely used by DRDO
to manufacture weapons and in case of preparing some life-saving drugs to the same concept is a viable tool.

This is why while preparing for government jobs examination or any competitive examinations you need to keep in mind the usage of the concepts in the practical field. Then only you can remember the concepts well and can score well in the examinations.