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A MATLAB-Based Teaching Approach to Dilute and Concentrated Solution Theories of Electrochemical Cells

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Students at high school as well as at early college level are sometimes confused, when studying electrochemical cells, over the mass transfer in the electrolyte and conduction within the cells, which results in the completion of the electrical circuit. Dilute and concentrated solution theories are two of the predominant concepts for understanding the mass transfer within the electrolyte. A MATLABĀ® based program has been developed to help in teaching and to aid the understanding of the dilute and concentrated solution theories of electrochemical systems. The MATLABĀ® based code that has been developed can be used to supplement a lecture on electrochemical cells as part of an electrochemistry course for early undergraduate students. The objective is to help in the understanding of the migration and diffusion of ions in electrochemical systems and how they affect the current, concentration distributions and potentials within a cell. The role of a 'supporting electrolyte' and its function, as seen in case studies for dilute solution electrolytes, is reported. In addition, basic chemistry and early engineering college students can be given assignments to manipulate a variety of parameters as part of a larger assignment and to observe the effects of these parameters on the working of a simple electrochemical system, draw inferences and modify or extend the software to a number of different cases.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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