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Chapter 14

Q. 14.2

Junction Potential

A 0.1 M NaCl solution was placed in contact with a 0.1 M NaNO_{3} solution. Which side of the junction is positive?

Step-by-Step

Verified Solution

Because [Na^{+}] is equal on both sides, there is no net diffusion of Na^{+} across the junction. However, Cl^{−} diffuses into NaNO_{3}, and NO_{3}^{−} diffuses into NaCl. The mobility of Cl^{−} is greater than that of NO_{3}^{−}, so the NaCl region will be depleted of Cl^{−} faster than the NaNO_{3} region will be depleted of NO_{3}^{−}. The NaNO_{3} side will become negative, and the NaCl side will become positive.

Test Yourself      Which side of the 0.05 M NaCl | 0.05 M LiCl junction will be positive?

(Answer: LiCl)

TABLE 14-2     Liquid junction
potentials at 25°C
Junction Potential (mV)
0.1 M NaCl | 0.1 M KCl −6.4
0.1 M NaCl | 3.5 M KCl −0.2
1 M NaCl | 3.5 M KCl −1.9
0.1 M HCl | 0.1 M KCl +27
0.1 M HCl | 3.5 M KCl +3.1

NOTE: A positive sign means that the right side of the junction becomes positive with respect to the left side.