The process of decomposition of electrolyte solution into ions on passing the current through it is called electrolysis. Some of the applications of electrolysis are as follows-
Electroplating- Electroplating is the process of depositing a thin layer of one metal over another metal by the method of electrolysis. The metals to be electroplated is made the cathode and the metal to be deposited is made anode. A soluble salt of anode metal is taken as an electrolyte. When an electric current is passed, a thin layer of anode metal is deposited on the cathode metal.
Extraction of Metals from Ores- Certain metals like Na, Al, Mg etc. are extracted from their ores by the process of electrolysis.
Purification of Metals- Impure metals can be purified by the process of electrolysis. The impure metal is made anode. The plate of the same metal in pure form is made the cathode. The solution of a salt of the metal is used as an electrolyte. When current is passed through the electrolyte, the anode generally dissolves. The pure metal is deposited on the cathode and the impurities are left behind.
Manufacture of Chemicals- Caustic soda is prepared by the electrolysis of sodium chloride solution.
Anodising- It is the process of coating aluminium with its oxide to protect it from corrosion.
Production of O2 and H2– These are obtained by the electrolysis of acidulated water.
Medical Applications- Electrolysis is used for nerve stimulation for polio; for removing unwanted hairs from any part of the body.