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Is carbon electrode inert?

Carbon electrodes are very popular, because unlike metal electrodes, carbon is quite inert during electrolysis. Inert electrode is an electrode that serves only as a source or sink for electrons without playing a chemical role in the electrode reaction. Precious metals, mercury, and carbon are typically used as inert electrodes. The inert nature of the electrode can sometimes be questioned. While the electrode may not take part in the reaction as a reactant or product, it still can act as an electrocatalyst.



Inert means it is not reactive. An inert electrode is needed to conduct the electrons but it is not part of the redox reaction. You only need an inert electrode (like Pt or C(gr)) if your reactants cant function as an electrode (like I2 and Ce ions). If you have a metal like Zn, Cu or Ag involved you can just use the metal.

Inert electrodes are made of platinum, mainly. They are called so because platinum is inert, ie a noble metal. It doesnt react very easily. Inert electrodes are made from the material which do not get harm or you can say react with the substrate , solution and other things while the reaction proceed.



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