How do electrons flow in a galvanic cell?

1 Answer
Sep 17, 2014

Electrons flow from the anode to the cathode through an external wire.

A common galvanic cell is the Daniell cell, shown below.

The Zn(s) gives up its electrons to form Zn²⁺(aq) ions. The electrons remain behind on the Zn electrode. Since Zn is oxidized, the Zn electrode is the anode.

The electrons travel through through an external circuit to the copper electrode. Here the Cu²⁺(aq) ions in contact with the Cu electrode accept these electrons and become Cu(s). Since Cu²⁺ is reduced, the Cu electrode is the cathode.

So, in a galvanic cell, electrons flow from anode to cathode through an external circuit.