Uses of electrolysis

First, electrolysis is used to extract metals from their natural ores (Gore 74). In extraction of metals using electrolysis, reactivity is an important factor that is considered. For example, highly reactive metals such as aluminum are extracted using electrolysis while less reactive metals such as iron are extracted by reduction reactions. Industrially, electrolysis is used to extract potassium, sodium, lithium, calcium, and magnesium (Plethcer and Walsh 49).

Reduction by electrolysis is used to extract reactive metals. The process produces metals whose purity is higher than of metals extracted through other methods. However, it is an expensive process because it consumes a lot of electric power compared to other forms of metal extraction.

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Second, electrolysis is used in anodization. Anodization is the process of creating an oxide coating on the surface of a metal in order to prevent corrosion (Plethcer and Walsh 54). The process is referred to as anodization because the metal or material to be anodized forms the anode. The process increases resistance to corrosion and wear. In addition, it increases the metal’s adhesion for paint and glues. Anodization alters the texture of the metal thus providing protection against rust. Commonly anodized metals include aluminum, titanium, zinc, magnesium, and tantalum.

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