Anode vs. Cathode

Difference Between Anode and Cathode

Anode and cathode are two electrodes that are used for conducting electricity in a device. These have opposite polarity and anode is positive and cathode is negative. Electrodes are conducting materials which allow the current to pass through them to complete the circuit. Most of the electrodes are made of copper, zinc, nickel etc while you may find some of them made of carbon as well.

In a battery there are anode, cathode and the electrolyte. The electrode from where the current leaves after oxidation is anode or the positive electrode while cathode or the negative electrode is where reduction takes place and the current enters the cell. In electric batteries anode becomes negative and cathode, positive. You can also find bipolar electrodes. The chemical reaction starts in the battery only after when electricity is passed through it. The electrons in the electrolyte start moving towards cathode because it has lesser number of electrons and this balances the number of electrons throughout the electrolyte.

When the device is getting charged cathode acts as anode and while discharging the process is revered. These are two poles which are found in every battery and you can identify the polarity of the cells with these. In primary cells the cathode will always remain negative because in cells we draw current and do not charge it. In secondary cells and batteries where we charge the cells and use them for getting power the electrodes are reversible.


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