The maximum work done by a voltaic cell is given by -nFE. Why the negative sign? From what I know, a battery does positive work on the load attached to it
closed as off-topic by Pritt Balagopal, bon, Mithoron, Tyberius, M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Sep 27 '17 at 16:00
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Homework questions must demonstrate some effort to understand the underlying concepts. For help asking a good homework question, see: How do I ask homework questions on Chemistry Stack Exchange?" – Pritt Balagopal, bon, Mithoron, Tyberius, M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ
It is negative because it's the work done by the system on the surroundings. Here our system is taken as the cell.
Maximum work is also taken as the change in Gibbs free energy $(ΔG)$.