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Copper and Zinc electrode potentials

Discussion in 'Science' started by aldebaran, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Copper and zinc are adjacent elements so why are their reduction potentials [+0.34V] and [ -0,77V] respectively?
     
  2. Copper and zinc are adjacent elements so why are their reduction potentials [+0.34V] and [ -0,77V] respectively?
     
  3. It's to do with where they are in the electrochemical series (similar to the reactivity series). Copper ions are a stronger oxidising agent that zinc ions - they are higher up the series. The fact that copper is +0.34 and Zn -0.77V is because we choose to define our 0.0V at the reduction of hydrogen ions, which places in the series with copper above it (getting a positive value) and zinc below it (getting a negative value). Rather than thinking of copper as +0.34 and zinc as -0.77V, think of them as 1.01V apart.
     
  4. Just found a resource on OCR's community pages that adresses this question in terms of the energetic cycle of the cell which is used to measure these reduction potentials. Thanks anyway, Pookyrobin!
     

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