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Voltaic Cells Question

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I've been trying to think of an IA I could do on voltaic cells for my Chem SL class and I'm having a hard time finding many variables I could manipulate. I know that I can change the metals and reactions will/won't occur based on the activity series, but that's about all I've actually learned in class. I've tried googling around, seeing if concentration/temperature/salt bridge/etc. will affect the reactions, but I can't find anything that isn't insanely difficult for me to understand (chemistry isn't my strong suit haha). I've asked my teacher about it and he just says, "I don't know if anything will happen, why not test it and find out?", which, I understand, this is the point in an IA, but I've had some experiments fail in the past-- and not in the good way-- and wouldn't like to repeat that experience.

 

So, can anyone help me understand what variables (other than metals) I could manipulate? Thanks! :)

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At the standard level, your best bet is to do something with an activity series or with changing the concentration of solutions. Concentration changes will affect a voltaic cell, and you can create your own activity series for any group of metals you want to investigate.

 

Temperature changes also effect a voltaic cell and you can investigate this with the Nernst equation, but that's only for higher level chemistry I believe.

 

In most cases changing the salt bridge will not have an effect on much other than the liquid junction potential, which is beyond what you're required to know, so I wouldn't recommend this as an investigation point.

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Thanks! I had a feeling most of the things I was thinking of were beyond the SL level. I hadn't really thought about attempting to create my own activity series, so I think I'll look into that some.

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Hey Hey I am in Chem SL - just to give you an idea of what the design IA could look like, I've attached my own which my teacher says I did well in haha - sounds dubious but I trust his experience. Besides the concentration of electrolytes, you can do size of electrodes as well ( like the surface area of the metal strips ) and maybe vary the metal that your electrode is made of - between zinc/magnesium/lead that sort of thing. 

 

Cheers and all the best fellow not-so-strong-chem-sl-student :)

Voltaic Cell Design (D1).pdf

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