Electrolysis Of Water

The fascinating process of electrolysis reveals the elemental dance within water molecules, transforming them into hydrogen and oxygen. Pure water, a covalent compound, is known to be a poor conductor of electricity. However, the introduction of impurities or ions, such as sodium ions, unlocks the conductivity potential of water, setting the stage for this intriguing chemical reaction.

The Electrolysis Ballet:

  1. Conduction Challenge:
    • Pure Water’s Covalent Nature: In its pristine state, pure water stands as a covalent compound, limiting its ability to conduct electricity. The shared electron pairs within water molecules hinder the flow of electrical current.
  2. Conductivity Unveiled:
    • Impurities or Ions as Catalysts: To instigate the electrolysis of water, a catalyst is needed to enhance its conductivity. Introducing impurities or ions, such as sodium ions, transforms water into a conductor, enabling the passage of electric current.
  3. Hydrogen and Oxygen Production:
    • Current-Driven Molecular Splitting: As an electric current is passed through the now-conductive water, a remarkable transformation unfolds. Water molecules undergo a process of electrolysis, breaking down into their elemental components—hydrogen and oxygen.

The Elemental Output:

  1. Hydrogen Generation:
    • At the Cathode: At the cathode, hydrogen gas is liberated. The electrons supplied by the electric current facilitate the reduction of water molecules, leading to the release of hydrogen gas.
  2. Oxygen Liberation:
    • At the Anode: Concurrently, at the anode, oxygen gas is generated. The anodic reaction involves the oxidation of water molecules, resulting in the liberation of oxygen gas.

Catalysts and Conductivity:

  1. Essential Role of Impurities:
    • Catalyst for Current Flow: The presence of impurities or ions serves as a catalyst, allowing the water to conduct electricity. This conductivity is indispensable for the success of the electrolysis process.


Electrolysis of water stands as a testament to the transformative power of electricity, unraveling the molecular bonds within water molecules to unveil the elemental duo of hydrogen and oxygen. The addition of impurities or ions serves not only as a catalyst for conductivity but also as the key that unlocks the captivating chemistry hidden within this seemingly simple compound.

This videos explains how to do electrolysis of water. (Includes some basic chemistry)

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