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 oxidation of nickel has a potential of 0V

It is not possible to oxidize nickel

None of these are true

The oxidation of nickel has a potential of 0.23V

The nickel will gain electrons when oxidized

Correct answer:

The oxidation of nickel has a potential of 0.23V


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:


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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