A Battery in electrochemistry refers to an electrochemical cell with the capability of producing and storing electrical energy. The chemical reactions within and between the half-cells provide the energy needed for a functional battery.
In a typical battery, one half-cell undergoes reduction, while the other undergoes oxidation – both combining their redox potentials to produce a voltage. The amount of volts that is actually produced is highly dependent on the strength of the reducing or oxidizing potential. Copper-Zinc electrochemical cells are common batteries producing a standard electrode potential of 1.1 V. This value can be calculated in the following way:
Cu2+(aq) + 2e- --> Cu(s)
E = 0.34 V
Zn(s) --> Zn2+(aq) + 2e-
E = 0.76 V
E = 0.34 + 0.76 = 1.1 V
Theoretically, any redox pair may form a battery; however it is sometimes extremely difficult to couple an electrode with a given electrolyte. Thus, understanding the theory behind batteries is a crucial component in the study of electrochemistry.
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