Electrolysis: In a typical reaction electrodes are placed in a solution of hydrogen chloride, HCl, which contains both hydrogen and chlorine ions. The battery removes electrons from the anode, making it positive and causing it to attract chlorine ions, Cl, which combine and are liberated as chlorine gas, Cl2. The battery supplies electrons to the cathode, making it negative and causing it to attract hydrogen ions, H+, which evolve as hydrogen gas, H2, at the cathode.

electrolysis ĭlĕktrŏlˈəsĭs [key], passage of an electric current through a conducting solution or molten salt that is decomposed in the process.

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