When a chemical in a solution form or in a fused state breaks into simple elements by the passage of electric current, the process is called ________________ .
Hint: In an aqueous solution, the adding of an electrolyte is able to conduct electricity due to the formation of ions. These ions are capable of moving, generating an electric current. This electric current is used to produce pure metals or their extracted form or to break any compound in its components. This requires electrodes and the conducting solution.
Complete answer: The energy produced in the chemical reactions can be converted into electrical energy that requires a particular setup. There is a process that includes the electrodes, a DC electric source and a solution, which conducts electricity through the movement of ions. This process is used to form pure substances on the electrodes, or used to break up substances to convert into simpler substances. The process is known as electrolysis. This term was given by Michael Faraday in the 19th century. Electrolysis involves a setup where an aqueous solution of a salt conducts electricity and the electrodes act as cathode and anode to carry out oxidation and reduction that results in the formation of a substance at either of the electrodes or evolution of gases. So, when a chemical in a solution form or in a fused state breaks into simple elements by the passage of electric current, the process is called electrolysis.
Note: Electrolysis can be used to extract pure metals from a mixture. The reactivity of metals gets enhanced in the electric field that is able to displace the ions and get the pure metal accumulated at the anode side. The redox reaction that happens results in the gain and removal of electrons that make up the solution.