electrolysis
  • noun a chemical reaction caused by the passage of electricity from one electrode to another
  • The effecting of a chemical change in a substance present in an electrolyte through which a current is passed. The change is usually a decomposition into simpler constituents, and the substance may be in gaseous, liquid, molten, or solid form, and may or may not be fully dissolved in the electrolyte, which is a liquid or molten salt. The electrodes between which the current is passed are the anode, towards which the negative constituents travel, and the cathode, towards which the positive constituents travel. Electrolysis is used, for instance, for electroplating, electrorefining, and in electrolytic cells.

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