# What determines the product at the anode/cathode of a electrolytic cell with an aqueous solution?

If you perform electrolysis on Aqueous Sodium Chloride of various concentrations, how does the product at the anode change but the product at the cathode does not?

What is the mechanism behind this change?

At the cathode, only hydrogen is produced, and the solution becomes charged in $$\ce{OH-}$$ ions, because of the reaction : $$\ce{2 H2O + 2 e- -> H2 + 2 OH-}$$
At the anode, chlorine is produced by the reaction : $$\ce{2 Cl- -> Cl2 + 2 e-}$$ But this chlorine $$\ce{Cl2}$$ is relatively soluble into water. And the ion $$\ce{OH-}$$ produced at the cathode migrates towards the anode. So, at the anode, the solution will soon contain new species like $$\ce{OH-}$$ and $$\ce{Cl2}$$ which do react with one another to produce $$\ce{Cl2 + 2 OH- -> ClO^- + Cl^- + H2O}$$ So a new ion appears in solution : $$\ce{ClO-}$$ . The trouble is that, if the solution is heated, the hypochlorite ion $$\ce{ClO-}$$ gets decomposed according to : $$\ce{3 ClO- -> ClO3^- + 2 Cl-}$$ So you see that the anodic compartment chemistry is more complicated than the cathodic compartment.