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The effect of different Electrodes and Electrolytes on voltage Featured science projectScience project video


The materials required for this science project are:

-    Zinc sheet
-    Copper sheet
-    Lead sheet
-    200ml Zinc nitrate solution
-    200ml Copper nitrate solution
-    200ml Lead nitrate solution
-    Porous cup
-    2 beakers
-    1 voltmeter
-    Gloves
-    Plastic safety goggles
-    A piece of Sandpaper


1.    The independent variable of this experiment is the type of electrode used. The dependent variable is the voltage. The constants of this experiment are the following: the amount of electrolyte used, the length of wires and the size of copper sheets used.

2.    Take necessary safety steps by putting on goggles and gloves.

3.    Rub the copper, zinc and lead sheets against the sandpaper to remove any deposits.

4.    Pour 100ml of zinc nitrate solution into a beaker. Put the zinc sheet into the solution.

5.    Pour about 50ml of copper nitrate solution into the porous cup and immerse the copper sheet into the solution.

6.    Cut the wire into 2 pieces of about 10cm each, connect one wire to the copper sheet and the other to the zinc sheet. After that, connect the free ends to the voltmeter.

7.    If the voltmeter shows a negative reading, switch the ends of the wire.

8.    Later, place the porous cup into the beaker and read the voltmeter. Record your reading in a table.

Illustration of the Experiment Set Up

9.    Repeat 5 trials.

10.    Next, prepare the lead half-cell in another beaker by pouring 100ml of lead nitrate solution into the other unused beaker. Remember to rub the copper strip against the sandpaper to ensure that the metal is exposed to the solution. Rinse the porous cup with distilled water and immerse it into the lead nitrate solution.

11.    Repeat the above steps for the zinc half-cell.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 10 minutes for observation.
Material availability:
All materials mentioned should be available from your school chemistry laboratory.
Safety concerns:

Students should be careful as they are dealing with electricity and chemical reactions in this experiment. Adult supervision required at all times.