What Are the Products When Water Is Broken Down by Electrolysis?

What Are the Products When Water Is Broken Down by Electrolysis?

What Are the Products When Water Is Broken Down by Electrolysis?

Products of electrolytic breakdown of water are molecular oxygen (O2) and molecular hydrogen (H2), as described by the New Mexico Solar Energy Association. The process follows chemical equation: energy (electricity) + 2 H2O = O2 + 2 H2.

According to the London South Bank University, water electrolysis is a sum of two redox reactions. At the cathode, water accepts free electrons from the current circuit and undergoes reduction, producing hydrogen and oxonium ions: 4e- + 4H2O = 2H2 + 4OH-. At the anode, water is oxidized, producing oxygen, hydrogen ions and free electrons that re-enter the circuit: 6H2O = O2 + 4H+ + 4e-.