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General Chemistry

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Moderate

Electrolysis of Aqueous Solution of $NaCl$

CHEM-5LPXJB

Consider an aqueous solution of $\textrm{NaCl}$. When this solution is electrolyzed, $\textrm{Cl}_2$ is produced at the anode but no $\textrm{Na}(s)$ is produced at the cathode.

Why? Select the BEST choice.

A

Sodium is an alkali metal and these types of atoms strongly prefer to be ions with an oxidation state of $+1$. It would not form $\textrm{Na}(s)$.

B

$\textrm{Na}$ metal is very reactive, and any $\textrm{Na}(s)$ that forms would immediately react with the water in solution.

C

$\textrm{Na}^+$ has a very low reduction potential. $\textrm{H}_2\textrm{O}$ has a higher reduction potential, and \textrm{O}_2$ would be formed.

D

$\textrm{Na}^+$ has a very low reduction potential. $\textrm{H}^+$ has a higher reduction potential, and $\textrm{H}_2$ would be formed.

E

Electrolysis requires two compartments for a cell. The $\textrm{NaCl}$ is in one compartment for the anode. The species produced at the cathode would depend on the chemicals present in that compartment.