Electrolytic Reduction Method is used in Extraction of _

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

A) Noble metals

B) Highly electropositive elements

C) Highly electronegative elements

D) Transition metals

Highly Electropositive elements are extracted by the electrolytic reduction method. Atoms that tend to leave electrons from their outer shell are called electropositive atoms. After electron donation, the atom is converted into a positive ion (M+). The general valency of the electropositive elements is 1, 2, and 3. Metals that readily donate one or two electrons from their outer shell and transform into positive ions are called electropositive metals. The electrolytic reduction process extracts highly electropositive metals from their ores. In this process, we can extract pure metal.

Extraction of Highly Electropositive Metals

High electropositive metals such as Group 1 and 2 are extracted from their ores by electrolysis of their ionic salts in the molten state. This method is also known as Electrolytic Reduction. In this case, chloride compounds of metals are usually taken. Then by sending current through this chloride compound in the molten state, it is possible to obtain chlorine gas in the anode and pure metal in the cathode.

Example: Electrolysis of molten sodium chloride

When sodium chloride melts at high temperatures, it is divided into sodium and chloride ions. When electricity passes through it, pure sodium in the cathode and chlorine gas in the anode is produced. As in this case, Na+ is converted into metal sodium by accepting electrons, the sodium is reduced, and the reaction is the reduction reaction.

Important Facts about Electropositive Elements:

  • The faster an element leaves an electron and becomes a positive ion, the higher the electropositivity of that element.
  • In the periodic table, we will see that the more we go from left to right of a period, the more its electro-positivity will decrease.
  • And if we go down in a group, a new shell increases, and the electropositivity increases.
  • Therefore, Group-1 [H, Li, Na, K, Rb, and Cs] and Group-2 [Be, Mg, Ca, Sr and Ba] are highly electropositive elements. Cesium is the most electropositive metal.

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