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In the electrolytic refining of a metal M, what would you take as the anode, the cathode and the electrolyte?

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: We have to know that the process of refining a metal (especially copper) by the process of electrolysis is known as electrolytic refining. We can call electrolytic refining as electro-refining.

Complete step by step answer: We have to know in metallurgy, the process of refining plays a significant role. Any metal extracted from its ore is impure and the impure metal that is extracted is known as crude metal.
We can say electrolytic refining is the process of refining impure metals with electricity. In this process, impure metal M is used as anode and a strip of pure metal is used as cathode. A solution of a soluble salt of the same metal M is taken as the electrolytic solution. When we pass electric current, metal ions from the electrolyte are deposited at the cathode as pure metal and the impure metal from the anode gets dissolved into the electrolyte in the form of ions. The impurities present in the impure metal are gathered below the anode. We call this as anode mud.

Note: We must know that the electrolysis is one of the many methods which are widely used in industry. It is used not only for extraction of metals as well in the reduction of the impurities in metal. This process is used in the medical field as well like for permanent removal of hair, etc. Even though such an application has some side effects but for long run it is good.
Several other techniques other than electrolytic refining or electrolysis which are used in purification of crude metal are,
-Zone refining
-Vapour phase refining
-Chromatographic methods