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Electrolysis is a scientific way of "splitting" substances. Electrolysis means "electric-splitting" and involves the separation of substances through an electric current.

Metals above carbon in the reactivity series (potassium, sodium, lithium, calcium, magnesium and aluminium) are got by electrolysis.

Uses[change | change source]

Electrolysis is used in the mining industry to split reactive metals from their ores after they are taken from the ground. It is also used to plate (cover) things with metal because it costs less than using, for example, 100% pure solid gold to make jewellery.

Many beauty companies use electrolysis to remove hair. This is done by "electrocuting" the hair so it splits along its root.

Electrolysis makes the cations (negative ion)s go to the anode (positive electrode) and the an ions (positive ions) go to the cathode (negative electrode). So, for example, oxygen would go to the anode and iron would go to the cathode.