Electrochemistry

Definition - What does Electrochemistry mean?

Electrochemistry is the study of the flow of electrons during chemical reactions, which are known as oxidation-reduction reactions. The study of electrochemistry has lead to a greater understanding of corrosion and electricity.

Corrosionpedia explains Electrochemistry

The study of electrochemistry is concerned with electron flow during chemical reactions known as oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions. During an oxidation-reduction reaction, one material oxidizes while another material reduces. The material being oxidized loses its electrons to the material being reduced. This can only occur if electrons are allowed to flow freely from one material to another, either by direct contact, a solid electrical connector, or an electrolytic solution. The mechanical and chemical properties of the material being oxidized are often negatively impacted; this is known as corrosion.

Electrochemistry has been an increasingly important field of study in the last few centuries. Around the end of the 18th century, Alessandro Volta, who the electrical unit "volt" is named after, began working on one of the first batteries, which rely on electrochemical reactions in order to supply energy. A few decades later, David Faraday released another exciting advancement in electrochemistry when he devised methods to understand the amount of material that is transferred during oxidation-reduction reactions.

Electrochemistry is a critical field of study for several different industries and applications, including advancements in battery technology, remote power and battery-powered vehicles. Electrochemistry is also instrumental in revolutionizing the corrosion prevention industry, which has developed many different methods of preventing the oxidation, or corrosion, of a variety of materials. Understanding of corrosion prevention methods, such as sacrificial materials, coatings and substances that inhibit corrosion, has increased the usable life of many components and structures.

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