Chemistry

Difference Between Daniell Cell and Galvanic Cell

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Main Difference

The main difference between Daniell Cell and Galvanic Cell is that Daniell Cell is a type of electrochemical cell that is used for spontaneous redox reactions and is composed of copper and zinc specific electrodes and the electrolytes are composed of copper sulfate and zinc sulfate, whereas Galvanic Cell is a sort of electrochemical cell in which its electrodes can comprise of variety of metals and their respective salts as electrolytes.

Daniell Cell vs. Galvanic Cell

Daniell Cell is considered a type of electrochemical cell in which electrodes are metal-specific, i.e., cathode and anode are composed of copper and zinc only. Galvanic Cell is a type of electrochemical cell in which these electrodes can be formed of a variety of metals, thus making it less metal-specific. In Daniell Cell, for spontaneous redox reactions to take place, copper is used as a cathode electrode; however, in Galvanic Cell, the Cathode electrode can be composed of any metal that can reduce.

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Thus for oxidation to take place at anode electrode zinc electrode is used in the case of Daniell Cell, which is an excellent oxidizing agent. In contrast, for galvanic cells, this anode electrode can be any metal that can be oxidized. Daniell Cell uses copper sulfate and zinc sulfate as electrolytes for completion of a redox reaction; however, in Galvanic Cell, these electrolytes are the salts of metals of each electrode for enabling the redox reaction in this electrochemical cell.

Comparison Chart

Daniell CellGalvanic Cell
Daniell Cell is an electrochemical cell that is composed of copper and zinc specific electrodes for a redox reaction.Galvanic Cell is an electrochemical cell that is composed of a variety of metals for their electrodes and their respective salts.
Anode
Comprised of the Zinc electrodeAny metal that can oxidize
Cathode
Comprised of a Copper electrodeAny metal that can reduce
Electrolyte
Copper sulfate and zinc sulfatesSalts of metals of each electrode
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What is the Daniell Cell?

John Fredric Daniell invented Daniell Cell in 1836. These cells used in the 19th century as a source of electricity. As Daniell Cell is the type of electrochemical cell in which electrodes like cathode or anode are metal-specific, i.e., composed of copper and zinc only.

Thus in this type of electrochemical cell, the copper electrodes and zinc electrodes are immersed in their respective salts as copper sulfate and zinc sulfate. These salts act as electrolytes as when they dissolved in water, and they separate into ions, i.e., when copper sulfate is dissolved in water, both copper and sulfate ions will be released in the solution — thus making it an electrolyte.

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For redox reactions, the use of electrolytes completes the process. These ions can conduct electricity through the aqueous solution of that substance. Half of the Daniell Cell is composed of copper cathode, and the other half is composed of zinc anode. This copper cathode is put into the solution of copper sulfate, while zinc anode put into the solution of zinc sulfate.

A membrane that is permeable to the ions acts as a salt bridge for the flowing of electrons from one solution to the other aqueous solution. This salt bridge eases the flow of electrons and is filled with a compound that does not interact with the other solutions of each half sides of the cell.

In a genuine Daniell Cell, a porous barrier used to separate electrolytic solutions. These porous barriers don not let the movement of copper ions into zinc sulfate or zinc ions into the copper sulfate solution. This barrier thus does not enable it to recharge the solution and limiting its ability — these solutions used for obtaining the required kind of electrical energy.

When the circuit for the flow of electrons completed, it starts acting as a device in which simultaneous reactions for oxidation and reduction start taking place. These reactions, therefore, convert the chemical energy into electrical energy with the help of free moving electrons through the circuit. This electricity thus produced can be used for commercial purposes.

What is Galvanic Cell?

A Galvanic Cell is a form of an electrochemical cell in which the electrodes used in carrying out the redox reaction can be composed of a variety of metals, thus making this cell less metal-specific. It is also called a voltaic cell in simpler terms. This type of cell is also composed of two half cells. Each side is composed of an electrode and an electrolyte in which it immersed for the flow of electrons.

Unlike Daniell Cell, the Cathode electrode can compose of any metal in Galvanic Cell but with the limitation that it can reduce. For some of the cases, these electrolytes can be separately put from each other like in other vessels, but in other cases, these electrodes separated by a porous barrier. When these electrolytes are entirely separated, a salt bridge with that specific compound used as a bridge for the movement of the electrons between the two solutions.

As in the case of the Galvanic Cell, the anode electrode can be any metal that can be oxidized. Thus in this type of electrochemical cell, the oxidizing and reducing metals are immersed in their respective salts, as was the case in Daniell cell. These salts act as electrolytes as when they dissolved in water, and they separate into ions. These electrolytes are the salts of metals of each electrode that enable the redox reaction in this electrochemical cell.

The choice of cathode and anode is made by measuring their spontaneous reacting ability. As for the redox reaction to take place, the half cell should go for oxidation and another half for the reduction reaction. With suitable electrodes, these Galvanic Cells used for generating electricity, thus making it commercially feasible for the production of current.

Key Differences

  1. Daniell Cell referred to as an electrochemical cell in which electrodes are composed of cathode and anode are made of copper and zinc only; on the other hand, Galvanic Cell is referred to as an electrochemical cell in which anode and cathode electrodes can compose of a variety of metals.
  2. In Daniell cell, the anode electrode is composed of zinc electrode as an oxidizing agent for a redox reaction to take place; on the contrary, for Galvanic Cells, this anode electrode can be comprised of any metal which can be oxidized.
  3. Daniell Cell uses copper cathode electrode for spontaneous redox reactions due to its ability to be an excellent reducing agent; on the other hand, in Galvanic Cell, this cathode electrode can compose of any metal that can reduce.
  4. Daniell Cell uses copper sulfate and zinc sulfate as electrolytes for the completion of the electrochemical cell and redox reaction to take place. In contrast, in Galvanic Cell, these electrolytes can comprise of salts of metals of each electrode for a redox reaction to take place.

Conclusion

Daniell Cell is a sort of electrochemical cell that is composed of copper and zinc specific electrodes and uses copper sulfate and zinc sulfates as electrolytes. Galvanic Cell is a type of electrochemical cell in which its electrodes can compose of a variety of metals and their respective salts.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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