Credit: RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA/EQUINOX GRAPHICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Electrolysis of molten lead bromide. Animation showing the electrolysis and conductivity of lead bromide, an ionic compound. Initially the solid salt is poured into a bowl, and electrodes connected to a light bulb are placed in it. No current flows through the solid. The salt is then heated until it melts, and the current does flow through the liquid salt, and the bulb lights up. This effect is caused by the mobility of the ions. Ionic compounds are made up of positive and negative ions (of lead and bromine respectively here), bonded together as their electric charges attract each other. In the solid, the force of this attraction means that the ions are not able to move, and no current flows. When molten, the heat energy breaks these bonds, liberating the ions and allowing a flow of current between the electrodes. The insets show lead (Pb2+, taking up two electrons) being deposited at the cathode (negative electrode), and bromine (Br-, releasing one electron) bubbling up from the anode (positive electrode) as the diatomic gas Br2. Electrolysis of molten salts is preferable over electrolysis of their solutions when, as in this case, the solubility and the melting point are both low. See clip K004/3401 for a similar animation of this experiment.

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Electrolysis of molten lead bromide

K005/3626 Rights Managed

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Duration: 00:01:04.01

Frame size: 1920x1080

Frame rate: 25

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Interlaced: Yes

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