Electrolysis Computer Simulation OLD Flash-based Code

This activity investigates how concentration, cation charge, along with an applied current and time influences the mass of metal deposited on one electrode and the mass of metal lost at the other electrode during electrolysis experiments.

Electrolysis Computer Simulation OLD Flash-based program at UO


©2010 Greenbowe  Chemistry Education Instructional Resources, University of Oregon, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Eugene, Oregon 97403

A newer version of the Electrolysis computer simulation coded using in html5 is available


©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 available on this web site.

This computer simulation is also available at Prof. John Gelder's web site at Oklahoma State University

Electrolysis Computer Simulation OLD Flash-based program  at Oklahoma State University

http://introchem.chem.okstate.edu/DCICLA/electrolysis10.html  at Oklahoma State University.

Curriculum Notes 

Other computer simulations and animations are available at http://genchem1.chem.okstate.edu/ccli/CCLIDefault.html

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.


Sia, D., Treagust, D., Chandrasegaran, A. (2012).  “High school students’ proficiency and confidence levels in displaying their understanding of basic electrolytic concepts."  International Journal of Science And Mathematics Education, Dec, Vol.10(6), pp.1325-1345.

Sanger, M.J. and Greenbowe, T.J. (2000). “Addressing Student Misconceptions Concerning Electron Flow in Electrolyte Solutions with Instruction Including Computer Animations and Conceptual Change Strategies.” International Journal of Science Education22, 521-537.

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, 377–398.

Sanger, M.J. and Greenbowe, T.J. (1997).  “Student Misconceptions in Electrochemistry: Current Flow in Electrolyte Solutions and the Salt Bridge.” Journal of Chemical Education74(7), 819-823.

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.


If you are a chemistry instructor (high school, AP Chemistry, or college) using this Flash-based computer simulation in your chemistry classroom, please consider making a voluntary donation to the University of Oregon Foundation "Chemistry Achievement Endowment Fund".  Because Flash will soon no longer be supported by browsers, we need funding to convert this simulation to a HTML5 based computer code.  There is a letter explaining the situation and a "donate" link on the home page of this "chemdemos" web site and on TG's UO web page:  https://chemistry.uoregon.edu/profile/tgreenbo/

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