Electrolysis Computer Simulation New HTML5 Version

Electrolysis Computer Simulation New HTML5 Version

Electrolysis computer simulation of a various metal-metal electrolytic cells.  Choose metal electrodes, electrolyte, current and time.  The simulation shows the change of mass for the anode and cathode.  Animations at the particle level of the half-reactions that occur at each electrode, the migration of anions and cations in the electrolyte solution, and the electron movement in the wires.


©2016 Greenbowe, Abraham, Gelder Chemistry Education Instructional Resources 

University of Oregon, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Pearson

There is a student activity sheet that accompanies this computer simulation.

This versatile computer simulation can be used as part of a lecture presentation, POGIL classroom activity, as a component of a laboratory experiment involving electrolysis and electrochemistry, as an enhancement of lecture demonstrations, as a make-up laboratory experiment, as part of an end-of-chapter homework assignment, etc.

Curriculum Notes 

Learning Objectives

1.  Given a diagram of an electrolytic cell, identify the anode, cathode, direction of which electrons and ions move, the location of the oxidation half-reaction, the location of the reduction half reaction.

2.  Given a description or a diagram of an electrolytic cell, write the oxidation half-reaction and the reduction half-reaction.

3.  Relate the amount of product(s) generated in an electrolytic cell to the stoichiometry of the reduction half-reaction and to the amount of electrical charge passed in the cell.

4.  At the particle level of representation (atom level), show how the number of electrons involved in a single reduction half-reaction, i.e. Zn2+ + 2e-> Zn, scales up to the mole level: i.e. 1 mole Zn2+ 2 mole e-> one mole Zn.

5. Calculate the mass of product produced during electrolysis given the stoichiometry, the amount of electrical current passed in a specific time in the cell.

6. Calculate the quantity of of charged passed in an electrolytic cell, given the stoichiometry, and the amount of electrical current passed in a specific time in the cell.

7.  Determine the relationship among coulombs, faradays, time, and reduction-half reaction for an electrolysis cell.



Gelder, J.I., Abraham, M.R., Greenbowe, T.J.  (2015).  “Teaching electrolysis with guided-inquiry.”  In Sputnik to Smartphones: A Half-Century of Chemistry Education, M. Orna (ed.) ACS Symposium Series, Volume 1208, pp 141-154. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C.

Sanger, M. Greenbowe, T. (1997). Common students misconceptions in electrochemistry: Galvanic, electrolytic and concentration cells. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Volume 34, Issue 4, pages 377–398.

Garnett, P. J., & Treagust, D. F. (1992). Conceptual difficulties experienced by senior high school students of electrochemistry: Electrochemical (galvanic) and electrolytic cells. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(10), 1079-1099.

Penelope Ann Huddle, Margaret Dawn White, and Fiona Rogers, “Using a Teaching Model to Correct Known Misconceptions in Electrochemistry,” J. Chem. Educ., Vol. 77, 2000, 104−110. 



© Copyright 2012 Email: Randy Sullivan, University of Oregon Chemistry Department and UO Libraries Interactive Media Group