# Why do we do electrolysis and electroplating using warm electrolyte?

This is a pretty basic question, and I know it has something to do with conductivity, but I'm not quite sure how they are related.

• Blake, please see my edits -- if you're unhappy with anything I changed, please feel free to change it back, or roll back my edit entirely. Jan 30 '17 at 21:37

The reasoning here is two-fold. The solubility of most electrolytes increases with temperature, and water's ionization constant also increases with temperature. On the whole this means more ions, and thereby better conductivity.

• Can you clarify on the ionization constant because I thought it decreased when temperature increased.
– jkd
Jan 31 '17 at 1:49
• @jakekimds The value of $\mathrm{p}K_\mathrm{a}$ does decrease with increasing temperature, yes. But, this means that the proper ionization constant, $K_\mathrm{a}$, increases with increasing temperature. Jan 31 '17 at 3:58

ringo makes good points in his answer. Additionally, though, the increased temperature enhances mass transfer of ions to/from the electrode surfaces by at least two mechanisms:

1. Higher temperature results in lower electrolyte viscosity, leading to a thinner fluid dynamic boundary layer and concomitant greater mass transfer to/from the electrode surfaces.

2. Higher temperature also increases the diffusivities of the electrolyte solutes, which also contributes to increased mass transfer to/from the electrodes.