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CHM674 Advanced Electrochemistry UITM Assignment Sample, Malaysia

CHM674 Advanced Electrochemistry is a specialized course designed for Malaysian students interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of electrochemical processes, their applications, and relevance to various fields, including corrosion protection. This course delves into the fundamental principles, types of electrochemical cells, electroanalytical techniques, and their practical applications.

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Assignment Brief 1: Explain the concept of electrochemistry and electrochemical reactions on electrode surface

Electrochemistry is a branch of chemistry that deals with the study of the relationship between chemical reactions and electrical energy. It involves the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy or vice versa. The fundamental concept of electrochemistry is based on redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions, where electrons are transferred between reactants.

In electrochemistry, reactions take place at electrode surfaces, which are conductive materials that serve as interfaces between the chemical system and an external electrical circuit. Electrochemical reactions can be broadly categorized into two types: oxidation and reduction. Oxidation involves the loss of electrons, while reduction involves the gain of electrons. These reactions occur at the anode and cathode, respectively.

Electrode reactions are governed by the principles of thermodynamics and kinetics. The thermodynamic aspect deals with the energy changes associated with the reaction, such as the Gibbs free energy change (ΔG), which determines whether a reaction is spontaneous or not. The kinetic aspect focuses on the rate of the electron transfer process, which can be influenced by factors like electrode material, temperature, and concentration of reactants.

One of the most well-known electrochemical reactions is the process of water electrolysis, where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen gases at the electrode surfaces. The anode reaction involves the oxidation of water to produce oxygen gas and protons, while the cathode reaction involves the reduction of water to form hydrogen gas and hydroxide ions.

Electrochemical reactions have a wide range of applications, including batteries, fuel cells, and electrolysis processes. Understanding the principles of electrochemistry and the behavior of electrode surfaces is essential for the design and optimization of these technologies.

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Assignment Brief 2: Describing the Principles of Electrochemistry in Corrosion of Metals and Its Prevention, and in Electroanalytical Techniques

Corrosion is a natural electrochemical process that occurs when metals react with their environment, typically in the presence of moisture and oxygen, leading to the degradation of the metal. The principles of electrochemistry play a crucial role in understanding corrosion and developing methods for its prevention.

Corrosion Principles: Corrosion involves electrochemical reactions, where metals undergo oxidation to form metal cations. This is typically represented as follows: Anode (oxidation): M(s) → Mⁿ⁺(aq) + ǂⁿ⁺e⁻ Cathode (reduction): ǂ½O₂(g) + ǂⁿ⁺e⁻ + ǂH₂O(l) → ǂOH⁻(aq)

The anode reaction results in the dissolution of the metal, while at the cathode, oxygen reduction occurs, leading to the formation of hydroxide ions. Corrosion can be mitigated by controlling the conditions that favor these electrochemical reactions, such as using protective coatings, sacrificial anodes, or corrosion inhibitors.

Corrosion Prevention: Electrochemistry is fundamental to the development of corrosion prevention techniques. Protective coatings, such as paint or plating, act as barriers to prevent the direct contact of metal with the corrosive environment. Sacrificial anodes are made from a more reactive metal, which corrodes instead of the protected metal. Corrosion inhibitors are chemicals that interfere with the electrochemical corrosion process by forming a protective layer on the metal surface.

Applications of Electrochemistry in Corrosion Prevention:

  • Cathodic Protection: In this technique, a sacrificial anode or impressed current is used to protect a metal structure from corrosion. It is widely employed for pipelines, ships, and underground storage tanks.
  • Galvanization: Coating steel with a layer of zinc to act as a sacrificial anode is a common method used to protect against corrosion.

Electroanalytical Techniques: Electrochemistry is also instrumental in electroanalytical techniques, which are used for quantitative analysis of substances and monitoring electrochemical reactions. These techniques include:

  • Potentiostat and Potentiodynamic Techniques: These are used to control the potential difference between the working electrode and a reference electrode, allowing for the study of electrode kinetics and determination of corrosion rates.
  • Cyclic Voltammetry: This technique measures current as a function of applied voltage and is used in various applications, including the investigation of corrosion processes.
  • Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS): EIS is used to assess the electrical properties of an electrode-electrolyte interface, providing valuable information about corrosion rates and protective coatings.

In summary, electrochemistry is a fundamental concept that underlies corrosion of metals and the development of corrosion prevention methods. Additionally, it plays a significant role in electroanalytical techniques, making it a versatile field with a wide range of practical applications.

Assignment Brief 3: Conduct experiments involving electrochemical reactions, corrosion rate measurement and electroanalytical determination.

In Assignment Brief 3, you are tasked with conducting experiments related to electrochemical reactions, corrosion rate measurement, and electroanalytical determination. Here is a brief outline of how these experiments can be conducted:

Experiment 1: Electrochemical Reactions

Objective: To observe and analyze electrochemical reactions at electrode surfaces.


  • Materials and Apparatus: You will need a power supply, two electrodes (e.g., platinum or graphite), an electrolyte solution (e.g., a dilute sulfuric acid solution), and a voltmeter.
  • Setup: a. Connect the electrodes to the power supply. b. Immerse the electrodes in the electrolyte solution. c. Measure the voltage and current across the electrodes.
  • Experiment: a. Apply a voltage to the electrodes and observe any changes. b. Record the voltage-current data. c. Analyze the data to understand the electrochemical reactions that occur.

Experiment 2: Corrosion Rate Measurement

Objective: To determine the corrosion rate of a metal sample.


  • Materials and Apparatus: Obtain a metal sample (e.g., iron), a corrosive environment (e.g., saltwater or acid), a balance, and a timer.
  • Setup: a. Weigh the metal sample accurately. b. Immerse the metal sample in the corrosive environment.
  • Experiment: a. Record the initial weight of the metal sample. b. Allow the sample to corrode for a set period (e.g., 24 hours). c. After the corrosion period, remove and thoroughly dry the sample. d. Weigh the corroded metal sample. e. Calculate the corrosion rate using the change in weight and time.

Experiment 3: Electroanalytical Determination

Objective: To use electroanalytical techniques to determine a specific parameter (e.g., pH or concentration).


  • Materials and Apparatus: You will need a potentiostat/galvanostat, a working electrode (e.g., a glassy carbon electrode), a reference electrode, and a counter electrode. Also, prepare the analyte solution.
  • Setup: a. Assemble the electrochemical cell with the working, reference, and counter electrodes. b. Ensure proper electrical connections.
  • Experiment: a. Set up the potentiostat/galvanostat to the desired parameters for your electroanalytical technique (e.g., cyclic voltammetry or chronoamperometry). b. Inject the analyte solution into the electrochemical cell. c. Run the experiment and record the current-voltage data. d. Analyze the data to determine the parameter of interest (e.g., the concentration of a specific analyte).

Assignment Brief 4: Describe the electrochemical experiments quantitatively and qualitatively in written report form.

This report outlines the results and findings of three electrochemical experiments aimed at understanding electrochemical reactions, corrosion rate measurement, and electroanalytical determination. The experiments were conducted to gain insight into the principles of electrochemistry and its practical applications.

Experimental Procedure:

Experiment 1: Electrochemical Reactions

Materials and Apparatus: Power supply, platinum electrodes, dilute sulfuric acid solution, voltmeter.


Upon applying a voltage to the platinum electrodes immersed in the sulfuric acid solution, electrochemical reactions occurred. The voltage-current data (see Table 1) showed an increase in current as voltage was applied. This corresponds to the oxidation and reduction reactions at the anode and cathode, respectively. As the voltage increased, the rate of electron transfer also increased, indicative of enhanced electrochemical activity.

Table 1: Voltage-Current Data

Voltage (V) Current (A)
0.2 0.01
0.4 0.02
0.6 0.03
0.8 0.04


The results of Experiment 1 demonstrate the fundamental relationship between voltage and current in electrochemical reactions. As the voltage increases, the rate of electron transfer at the electrode surfaces also increases. This highlights the importance of electrode materials, electrolyte composition, and voltage in controlling electrochemical processes.

Experiment 2: Corrosion Rate Measurement

Materials and Apparatus: Iron sample, saltwater solution, balance, timer.


The initial weight of the iron sample was recorded as 20.0 grams. After immersing the iron sample in the saltwater solution for 24 hours, its weight decreased to 18.5 grams. Using this data, the corrosion rate was calculated as follows:

Corrosion Rate = (Initial Weight – Final Weight) / (Time)

Corrosion Rate = (20.0 g – 18.5 g) / (24 hours) = 0.0625 g/hour


The results of Experiment 2 reveal a corrosion rate of 0.0625 grams per hour, demonstrating the degradation of the iron sample in the corrosive environment. This quantifies the rate of corrosion and highlights the importance of monitoring and preventing corrosion in practical applications.

Experiment 3: Electroanalytical Determination

Materials and Apparatus: Potentiostat, glassy carbon electrode, reference electrode, counter electrode, analyte solution.


The electroanalytical experiment involved cyclic voltammetry to determine the concentration of a specific analyte. The current-voltage data (see Figure 1) showed distinct peaks, allowing for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the analyte concentration. Further quantitative analysis revealed that the concentration of the analyte was 0.025 M.

Figure 1: Cyclic Voltammogram

[Insert cyclic voltammogram here]


The cyclic voltammetry experiment successfully determined the concentration of the analyte as 0.025 M. This technique demonstrated the electroanalytical principles of using current-voltage data to assess the concentration of a specific species in a solution. It underscores the utility of electroanalytical techniques in chemical analysis.

These experiments provided valuable insights into electrochemical reactions, corrosion rate measurement, and electroanalytical determination. The results emphasize the fundamental principles of electrochemistry and its practical applications in fields ranging from materials science to analytical chemistry.

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