Saturday, January 22, 2011

Importance of electrolysis in our daily lives

In 1800, two Englishmen, William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle, used an electric current to decompose water into its element, hydrogen and oxygen. This is an example of electrolysis. Electrolysis is the process of using electricity to break down or decompose a compound. It has a few main components – a battery, electrodes and an electrolyte. There are many applications of electrolysis.
Electroplating is one of the main areas where electrolysis is implemented.
It is the coating of one metal over the other which is called electroplating. It is done for few reasons to benefit us:
1.  Resistance to corrosion and increased life span
2. Provision of insulation
3. Better appearance for e.g. chrome, nickel or silver can produce a mirror like finish
Resistance to corrosion and increased life span: A coat of one less valuable metal on a more valuable metal can be very beneficial.  For example if zinc is electroplated on iron then it would protect iron from getting corroded and would ensure proper usage.
Provision of insulation: Insulating materials can be electroplated for safety of living organisms. Plastic for example can be electroplated on copper or aluminum for protection from shocks.
Better appearance: this one of the most common method used for everyday life coating. Electroplating of silver, chrome or nickel protects the base metal from corrosion, or scratches as well as provides a shiny attractive appearance for decorations or jewelry.

This is a much of a decorative or labelling where a wax figure is made of desired shape and coated with carbon and used as an electrode which can deposit metals forming a solid plate made of a thin sheet of pure metal e.g., copper metal.
Electrolytic purification
In Today’s age, there is high demand for very pure metals. Electrolysis can be used to purify metals, such as purification of copper. A pure bar of cathode attached to the cathode can have deposits of that metal from the impure metal electrode from the anode.

This is a techniques used for repairing of broken machinery. The whole surface of the broken/damaged object or component is covered with wax except where the repair is needed and is made the cathode and dipped in an electrolysis bath. The metals deposits on the dent or the part open part. After enough metal is deposited, by further machinery it can provide the exact shape wanted.
Electric Cell
One of the most common used every day object, the battery cell, uses the electrolysis for voltage difference.  It essentially reverses electrolysis. It is made by placing two different metals in contact with an electrolyte. The metals act as the electrodes for a simple cell. The farther away the two metals in the reactivity series, the higher voltage and current is produced.
Water Electrolysis
The water is one of the most common and the oldest technique discovered by scientist. Today it is used in many places. Water electrolysis is helping for a safer poultry industry. It is also used for collecting oxygen and hydrogen separately for their specific purposes, like for use of oxygen in the oxygen tanks which also contains argon. Hydrogen can be used as fuel or it is used in massive quantities in the petroleum and chemical industries.
Hair removal
A minor but very useful method of looking good in society is electrolysis hair removal. Electrolysis hair removal is the only method approved by the FDA for  without requiring multiple sessions, permanent hair removal isn't 100% guaranteed for everyone.
A minor use is in the capacitors which stores electricity and provides it when switching on something.
Additional Benefits/Uses of Electrolysis
Disadvantages Of Electrolysis
Electroplating works on a molecular level, so it may forms an extremely thin layer, so either we use only one thin layer or provide multiple coating to it. When ions of the superior metal adhere to the base metal it is often uneven or bumpy which creates a problem. Even though the coating is good, the coating can be easily cracked or is brittle, especially true with chrome. Plating companies produce large amounts of pollution which creates other troubles like diseases are created.

In hair removal should the needle enter and an electric charge is discharged into the skin, you could get a scar.
In machineries using electrolysis it is difficult to coat internal diameters and there are dry torque problems. It consumes space in the shop or factory and also might generate waste chemicals which can be harmful to the environment and also may contain the valuable metal.

Environmental Issues
The industries using electrolysis release large amounts of effluents as wastes. Authorities regulate a particular amount of waste that should be regulated not more than that. There are very few metal finishing plants from which the rinse waters can be discharged directly to the sewers as the contaminant concentrations are outside the limits set by local authorities. With the majority of instillations, therefore, effluent treatment is necessary.
In effluent treatment the usual practice is to separate the acidic discharges, together with those containing nickel or chromium from alkaline and cyanide discharges which may contain metals such as zinc, cadmium or copper.

Ethical Issues
The companies and industries should always try to reduce pollution by following few methods like:

o   Keeping the plating areas clean and preventing foreign materials from entering the site.
o   A part that falls off the rack into a bath should be removed quickly to reduce contamination.
o   Firms should avoid using broken or cracked racks
o   Proper control of bath operating parameters can result in more consistent work piece quality
o   Facilities should perform daily or weekly tests and analysis for proper inspection.

Social issues
Due to electrolysis or electroplating, people can be affected in many ways. Pollution can cause any disease to any one on a general basis, however due to electroplating there can be occupational asthma. People living around those people can get affected too spreading the disease to others and the society. However the electrochemical or electrolysis field has increased the job opportunities for the people and thus developing the country.

Electrolysis has a major use in our day to day life, because it provides several products as well as makes us looks good and satisfied. It provides a fuel, as in hydrogen and gives us extra life, as for the oxygen. It is true that there are disadvantages for electrolysis, like giving us scars, creating pollution or increases the time required for making one product however it has so many good effects too, like providing permanent hair loss to most people as well as give a lustrous look to a dull metal or even provide electricity in emergency or mobile devices. I think without electrolysis our life would be incomplete.

1.        "Applications of Electrolysis." 5,029,000 Live Tutoring Sessions Served ! Web. 15 Aug. 2010. <>.
2.        Beach,, Emily. "Types of Electroplating." EHow | How To Do Just About Everything! | How To Videos & Articles. 7 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Aug. 2010. <>.
3.        "Benefits of Electrolysis - Removing Hair (UK)." Eliminating Unsightly Hair at Removing Hair (UK). Web. 18 Aug. 2010. <>.
4.        "Electrolysis: Commercial Applications of Electrolysis —" Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free Online Reference, Research & Homework Help. — Web. 17 Aug. 2010. <>.
5.        "ELECTROPLATING SERVICES." Advanced Plating & Polishing Services Ltd. Web. 17 Aug. 2010. <>.
6.        Hewis, John. "Capacitors." Welcome to the Electronics Club. Web. 18 Aug. 2010. <>.
8.        Litherland,, Neal. "The Disadvantages of Electroplating |" EHow | How To Do Just About Everything! | How To Videos & Articles. 1 June 2010. Web. 17 Aug. 2010. <>.
9.        "Occupational Asthma Due to Chrome and Nickel Electroplating. -- Bright Et Al. 52 (1): 28 -- Thorax." Thorax - BMJ Journals. Web. 18 Aug. 2010. <;52/1/28>.
10.     "Pollution Prevention in the Plating Process." Pollution Prevention (P2) Pays - N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance. Web. 18 Aug. 2010. <>.
11.     Tan, Yin Toon., Ling Chen Kwong, John Sadler, and Emily Clare. "Chapter 15: Electrolysis." GCE 'O' Level Chemistry Matters. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Education, 2007. Print.
12.   "Water Electrolysis for a Safer Poultry Industry." Food Production Daily Food Processing & Packaging Materials (food Equipment, Processing Machinery, Packaging Materials for Food Processors). 25 June 2004. Web. 17 Aug. 2010. <>.

Please Leave Your Comments And Your Queries/Doubts In The Suggestion Box. Please Provide Some Suggestions About Other Topics Of Essay. Follow my blog to get a lot of information and help,


  1. thanks for the info.. so useful for me to do my project :D

  2. keep up the gud work!!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Thanks! This really helped!
    Hey, Makrand! You getting info from here too?! I'm your classmate :D

  5. hello makrand hahah im from 10 A (not salil)

  6. lol hi kanak and kuber!!

  7. HI ppl.
    Makrand, hi.

  8. lol the only guy hu wrote his name was makrand....

  9. im not jake

  10. oh ok den HI jake!!

  11. omgg..its amazing..and hello frm 10D:)

  12. whts the mla format for this site?anybdy?

  13. Woah! This is amazing work, who did this?

  14. salil, kuber and kanak, can't believe we are all on the same site, btw (am a girl who like salil) he so hot, i know you like him too so dont judge me ok!!

  15. gth whoever u r! salil's the hottest ever! not just 'so hot'. keep ur hands of him coz he's mine!

  16. makrand gupta is nuts

  17. This has been so helpful, thanks alot

  18. thanks so much for the information... it helped me a lot for my essay.

  19. Thanx, this saved me

  20. Makrand is a dumbass

  21. God u guys!!
    Nice work nilankan.... Its so helpful!!! Love u bro!! thanx for the mla citing too!! ur the best!!

  22. Hey dude can u do this too.. It biology. The topic is "Influence of Modern Technology on the cardiovascular system to increase the life expectancy".. Plss do this for me.. Pls.
    and how will i know if u have posted the essay..

  23. nice work....aata du sada hai yahan...ho gave ho gave yahan

  24. This was really helpful. *_*

  25. rlly great idea...!!!!

  26. It helped me a lot.Thanks!............................................

  27. ty it helped me a lot for my Project

  28. haha xd rofl lmaooo

  29. Gracias fue tan Ăștil