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Question 20.5: Calculating the Quantity of Work from a Given Amount of Cell...

Calculating the Quantity of Work from a Given Amount of Cell Reactant

The emf of a particular voltaic cell with the cell reaction

\mathrm{Hg}_{2}^{2+}(a q)+\mathrm{H}_{2}(g) \rightleftharpoons 2 \mathrm{Hg}(l)+2 \mathrm{H}^{+}(a q)

is 0.650 \mathrm{~V}. Calculate the maximum electrical work of this cell when 0.500 \mathrm{~g}  \mathrm{H}_{2} is consumed.


The maximum work of a cell equals -n F E_{\text {cell }}. To get n, you split the cell reaction into half-reactions, multiplying each by a factor so that when added together they give the cell reaction. Then n equals the number of moles of electrons in either half-reaction.

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