What is Salt Bridge?

A salt bridge is a an equipment used in one electrochemical cell for connecting its oxidation and reduction fifty percent cells inside a weak electrolyte is used. In other words, a salt leg is a junction the connects the anodic and also cathodic compartments in a cell or electrolytic solution.

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The salt leg usually is composed of a solid electrolyte which is further consisted of of ions. Because that example, AgNO3, KCl, etc. Salt bridges are usually used in a galvanic cabinet such together a voltaic cabinet or Daniel cell.

Salt bridge Function

The main role of a salt bridge is to help maintain the electrical neutrality in ~ the internal circuit. It additionally helps in preventing the cell from acquisition its reaction to equilibrium. If salt bridges are lacking or if they are not provided then the reaction will most likely continue and the equipment in one-half electrodes will gather a negative charge. Similarly, in the other half, electrodes would certainly accumulate a confident charge. This will certainly further result in the stoppage that the reaction and also no power will it is in produced.


Therefore, a salt bridge basically helps in avoiding the build-up of positive and an adverse charges about the respective electrodes and further allowing a smooth reaction to take it place. It additionally helps in the constant flow of electrons. However, the function of a salt leg is not to move electrons indigenous the electrolyte; fairly it’s to maintain charge balance due to the fact that the electrons are moving from one-half cell to the other.

Salt bridge prevents the diffusion or mechanical flow of systems from one-half cell to another.It prevents or minimizes the liquid-liquid junction potential. (Potential arises between two solutions when they are in call with every other).Salt bridge acts as an electrical contact in between two fifty percent cells.

Types of Salt Bridges

There are largely two species of salt bridges supplied in electrochemical cells.

Glass tube BridgeFilter record Bridge

Glass pipe Bridge

They are typically U – shaped Tubes filled with electrolyte. Sodium Chloride (NaCl), Potassium Chloride (KCl), Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) is generally used electrolyte. The electrolyte demands to be relatively unreactive with various other chemicals in the cell and also have cations and also anions with similar migratory rate (comparable ion charge and also molecular weight).

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The electrolytes are regularly held as gelatin such as Agar-Agar. The concentration the salt solution and diameter of the glass pipe plays crucial role in conductivity. Lowering the concentration and the diameter of the tube decreases the conductivity.

Filter paper Bridge

They are another most typically used bridge, consists filter paper or porous product soaked in electrolyte. Here, salt chloride (NaCl) or potassium chloride (KCl) are frequently used electrolyte. Electrolytic concentration, porosity, and roughness of filter document affect the conductivity. For greater conductivity, a filter record with smooth absorbent is used, castle yield higher conductivity than rough record with reduced absorbent.

As stated above, a salt bridge’s main role is to maintain the electric neutrality between two beakers. To do so the salt used need to be inert. The ions require to move to and forth between the two fifty percent cells. Unlike other salts, potassium chloride (KCl) and also potassium nitrate (KNO3) are far better inert salts. An inert salt is supplied to protect against the reactions from arising between the salt and also solution. The inert salt potassium chloride (KCl) is a generally used salt since the potassium and also chloride ions have really common diffusion coefficient and also minimizing junction potential, however the potassium chloride is unwise to use as electrolyte once the electrode offered is lead or silver because they kind a precipitate.

Salt bridge in Electrolysis

Like in the electrochemical cell, salt bridges have the same role in electrolytic cells too. If us immerse the two electrodes in one systems in a single container, no salt bridge is necessary, but if we want each electrode in a various solution and in separate containers, we require a salt leg to complete the circuit. It has mobile ions that action as charge carriers.

Preparing Salt Bridge

Soaking String, Cotton, or record Material in an Electrolyte Solution

For preparing a bridge, take product that is big enough to reach two beakers. Ar this product in a pool of electrolyte till they get saturated through the solution. Closely take the material from the electrolytic solution and also remove the excess lot of electrolyte.

Preparing gel to duty as Bridge

The gelatin is suspended in one electrolytic solution, and they space treated through a buffered solution and heated later. The viscous gel is enabled to collection on a glass key or tube

Working that Salt Bridge

The oxidations that take place in anode create electron and positive ions. Currently the electrons flow through the cable leaving the unbalanced confident charge in a beaker. In order to keep the electric neutrality the negatively fee (NO3–) ion move to the positively fee beaker (anodic half cell).


A comparable situation develops in the cathode cell but in reverse. Here the Cu2+ ions room consumed. Therefore for preserving the electric neutrality, the K+ ions are migrated into this fifty percent cell from the salt bridge. Hence, the electric neutrality that the systems is maintained using the salt bridge.

What happens if No Salt leg is supplied in a Galvanic Cell?

A galvanic cabinet is one where electrical energy is generated by a redox reaction. A salt leg plays an important role in a galvanic cell. Let united state see what happens if over there is no salt bridge present in the galvanic cell.

Before wires space connected, the systems in each beaker is neutral.So they have an equal number of positive charges and an unfavorable charges.The zinc bar (Anode offered in a galvanic cell) will give up 2 electrons. So the the electrons flow to the copper bar (cathode offered in the galvanic cell) through the wire.So the solution gains a positive charge due to the fact that zinc loses electrons.The copper bar (cathode) bring away the two electrons bring about one confident copper ion (Cu+2) to leave the solution and also accept the 2 electrons.When this happens an atom of copper will deposit top top the copper bar.Hence, this equipment becomes negative charged.

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Now over there exist two voltages, one between the electrodes (metal bar) and the other is between the fee solutions. The voltage between the steel bar or electrode is positive and also the voltage in between the charged solution is negative. So this voltages will certainly cancel out and also no present will flow. This proves the importance of salt bridges in any type of electrochemical cell or electrolysis.