Bard, Allen J. Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
Last reviewed:November 2016
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A means of producing chemical changes through reactions at electrodes in contact with an electrolyte by the passage of an electric current. Applications include industrial synthesis of chemicals, electroplating of metals, metallurgical extraction and refining of metals, metal finishing and electromachining (removal of metal), and the production of electricity in batteries. Corrosion of metals often occurs through electrolytic processes. Electrolytic cells are used in analytical chemistry and in laboratory studies of reaction mechanisms (see illustration). See also: Battery; Corrosion
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