# Calculating Cell Potentials Under Non-Standard Conditions

Published on: by Chegg

**Table of Contents**

- Introduction
- Introduction to non-standard conditions in galvanic cells
- Explanation of Le Chatelier's principle in relation to cell potential
- Understanding concentration cells and their significance
- Derivation and application of the Nernst equation
- Calculation of cell potential in a concentration cell example
- Highlights
- FAQ

## Introduction

In this article, we will explore how to calculate cell potentials under non-standard conditions, specifically focusing on non-standard concentrations in galvanic cells. By considering Le Chatelier's principle and concentration cells, we can use the Nernst equation to determine cell potentials in such situations.

## Introduction to non-standard conditions in galvanic cells

In galvanic cells, calculations are typically performed under standard conditions where all concentrations are set to one. However, in non-standard conditions, concentrations vary, leading to different cell potentials. Understanding how to calculate cell potentials under non-standard conditions is crucial in electrochemistry.

One key concept to consider is Le Chatelier's principle, which states that changing the concentration of reactants or products in a system will shift the equilibrium to counteract the change. This principle can be applied to cell potential calculations, where an increase in reactant concentration leads to an increase in cell potential, while an increase in product concentration decreases the cell potential.

## Explanation of Le Chatelier's principle in relation to cell potential

Le Chatelier's principle plays a significant role in determining how changes in reactant or product concentrations affect cell potential in galvanic cells. By understanding this principle, we can predict how altering concentrations will impact the overall reaction and cell potential.

For example, if we increase the concentration of a reactant in a cell, the system will adjust by shifting the reaction towards products, resulting in an increase in cell potential. Conversely, increasing the concentration of a product leads to a decrease in cell potential as the equilibrium shifts towards reactants.

## Understanding concentration cells and their significance

Concentration cells are a specific type of galvanic cell where both half-reactions involve the same substance but at different concentrations. These cells exploit differences in concentration to generate a voltage that drives the reaction towards equilibrium.

By utilizing concentration cells, we can observe the principles of Le Chatelier in action, as the cell adjusts to equalize the concentrations in both halves. This unique setup allows us to study the effects of varying concentrations on cell potential and understand the significance of concentration gradients within galvanic cells.

## Derivation and application of the Nernst equation

The Nernst equation is a fundamental equation used to calculate the cell potential of galvanic cells under non-standard conditions. By incorporating factors such as reaction quotient and stochiometric coefficients, the Nernst equation provides a more accurate representation of cell potential in varying concentrations.

Deriving the Nernst equation involves understanding the relationship between free energy change, standard free energy change, and cell potential. By applying this equation, we can determine the cell potential of concentration cells and predict how changes in concentrations impact the overall reaction and voltage.

## Calculation of cell potential in a concentration cell example

Using the principles of the Nernst equation, we can calculate the cell potential of concentration cells by considering differences in ion concentrations and stoichiometric coefficients. By plugging in the relevant values into the Nernst equation, we can determine the cell potential under non-standard conditions.

In the example of aluminum and manganese concentration cells, we see how altering concentrations of ions affects the overall cell potential. By applying the Nernst equation and considering factors such as reaction quotient and number of electrons transferred, we can accurately calculate the cell potential in concentration cells.

## Highlights

- Le Chatelier's principle predicts the effect of concentration changes on cell potential
- Concentration cells utilize different concentrations of the same species to generate a cell potential
- The Nernst equation is used to calculate cell potentials under non-standard conditions
- Example calculations demonstrate the application of the Nernst equation in concentration cells
- Understanding how non-standard conditions impact cell potentials is crucial in electrochemistry

## FAQ

**Q: How do concentration changes in a galvanic cell affect cell potential?**

A: Concentration changes in a galvanic cell impact cell potential by shifting the reaction towards the side with the lower concentration to reach equilibrium. This is in line with Le Chatelier's principle.

**Q: What is a concentration cell and how does it function?**

A: A concentration cell is a type of galvanic cell where both half reactions involve the same species but at different concentrations. This creates a potential difference that drives the reaction towards equilibrium.

**Q: What is the Nernst equation and how is it used in electrochemistry?**

A: The Nernst equation relates the cell potential of an electrochemical cell to the concentrations of reactants and products involved. It allows for the calculation of cell potentials under non-standard conditions.

**Q: How can the Nernst equation be applied to calculate cell potentials in concentration cells?**

A: By plugging in the relevant concentrations, stoichiometric coefficients, and standard cell potential into the Nernst equation, one can calculate the cell potential of a concentration cell under non-standard conditions.

**Q: Why is understanding non-standard conditions important in electrochemistry?**

A: Understanding how non-standard conditions, such as concentration changes, affect cell potentials is essential for predicting and manipulating electrochemical reactions for various applications.