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In a voltaic cell there is zinc and copper and the electrolyte is sodium chloride solution. The question was:

In this cell, which of the following undergoes reduction?

My answer was copper, but why is the exact answer "a hydrogen ion"?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Copper cannot undergo reduction because, in the list of components of the cell you listed, it is only present in its most reduced state, Cu(0). Thus, it cannot be copper that is reduced. See here for additional hints about your system.

You may have been confused by the fact that, in the historical (and widely taught) Daniell cell, copper is indeed reduced: it is present as Cu(+II) in a solution of copper sulfate.

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can you write down the redox reaction for me?? whether half and full equation?? I am not so clear yet abt that – dramasea Oct 31 '12 at 16:09
@dramasea the site policy is to not give full answers to homework questions… explain to us what you have tried, and why it doesn't work. Also, try to look that up in your textbook. You'll learn much more that way than if you just fish answers on the ’net… – F'x Oct 31 '12 at 16:12

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