MCAT Physical : Reduction Potentials

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Physical

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Reduction Potentials

Consider the half reaction below.

Which of the following statements is true about the oxidation of nickel?

Possible Answers:

The nickel will gain electrons when oxidized

The oxidation of nickel has a potential of 0.23V

It is not possible to oxidize nickel

The oxidation of nickel has a potential of 0V

None of these are true

Correct answer:

The oxidation of nickel has a potential of 0.23V

Explanation:

Reduction potentials are typically provided in table form. Since the oxidation potential of an element is the negative of the reduction potential, it can be determined by viewing a reduction table.

Since the reduction potential for nickel is given as –0.23V, we can conclude that the oxidation potential for nickel is 0.23V.

Example Question #2 : Reduction Potentials

The standard reduction potentials for iron and nickel are as follows:

        

        

If a galvanic cell is made using these two metals, what is the standard voltage for the cell?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

A galvanic cell is spontaneous, meaning that there will be a positive cell voltage. In order for this to take place, the more negative reduction potential must be flipped so that the metal is oxidized.

       

        

Adding these values together gives a standard cell voltage of .

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