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Galvanic cell HTML5


Man has known, for a very long time that matter can be electrified. However, it is very complex to maintain a separation of charges for the circulation of electric current. It was not until the late eighteenth century and the voltaic cell that we had our first current generator.  

In 1836, John Daniell, a British physician (1790-1845), invented a new one cell battery made of two compartments containing respectively ionic aqueous solutions of copper sulphate in which a strip of copper metal has been inserted and zinc sulfate in which a zinc metal strip has been inserted.  

The two compartments are connected by a salt bridge. This device can generate a sustainable voltage of 1.1 V. 

Click on the checkbox to make the molecules and ions visible.

Learning goals

  • To identify the positve and negative terminals of a battery.
  • To illustrate the oxidation and reduction reactions that occur in a battery.
  • To know how to write the chemical equations for the reactions at each electrode (terminal).
  • To understand the role of the salt bridge.

Learn more

How does this battery work?

In this battery, the two oxidation / reduction pairs involved are:

  • Cu2+(aq) / Cu(s)
  • Zn2+(aq) / Zn(s)

These pairs are located in separate compartments…

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