5. Gain and Loss of Electrons   Previous PageNext Page
       Ions and Salts

Molten salts and salt solutions also conduct electricity, but in a different way. If two electrodes are dipped into molten LiF and then connected to a battery, electrons will flow into the melt at one electrode, and out of the melt and back to the battery at the other.

Within the liquid, electric current is not carried by electrons, but by moving ions. The positive ions move toward the electrode (called the cathode) where electrons flow into the melt, and the negative ions move to the electrode (called the anode) where electrons return to the battery.

At each electrode a chemical reaction takes place when the carrier of electric current changes from ions in the melt to electrons in the connecting wires.

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