Electrolysis is the decomposition of electrolyte in liquid or its molten state into its components by the passage of electricity through it.
An electrolyte is a liquid or molten substance which allows passage of current through it and decomposes during the process.
Liquids such as acid, bases and salts are good conductors and are also good electrolytes while kerosene, benzene, petrol are poor electrolytes.
Electrodes are the conductors through which current enters or leaves an electrolyte.
The current enters through the positive terminal called the anode while it leaves through the negative terminal called the cathode.
Ions are groups of electrons that have excess electrons or deficient electrons. They are divided into two namely;
- Cations: these ions carry positive sign, and are always attracted to the cathode.
- Anions: these ions carry negative sign, and are attracted to the positive anode.
A voltameter is a device or apparatus that contains the electrodes and electrolytes for carrying out electrolysis.