If I had a theoretically perfect electrolytic cell, such as one with Copper anodes and cathodes, and a copper nitrate solution, over a given time period with a voltage applied, would the change in mass of the cathode be identical to the change in mass of the anode?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Probably it is exactly what you have in mind by "perfect". $\endgroup$
    – Alchimista
    Jun 1 '21 at 10:08
  • $\begingroup$ At the cathode, copper ions get reduced to copper metal, but the copper so produced might be poorly adherent, i.e., it might flake off the cathode and become “cathode sludge”. This electroplating example nicely illustrates something Yogi Berra might have said: “In theory, theory and practice are the same; in practice, they aren’t!” So the mass balance is correct, regardless of where the reduced copper ions end up. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Jun 1 '21 at 19:47

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