In the lab the reaction occurring at the cathode was the production of Hydrogen gas, and the reaction at the anode was the production of oxygen gas. This can be observed as the hydrogen reaction created twice as much gas within the cathode than the oxygen did within the anode, staying true to the saying fat cat(cathode). Another reason we can tell that hydrogen was the cathode and oxygen the anode are the half reactions. Hydrogen: 2H20(l) + 2e- —> H2(g) + 2OH-(aq) this is a reduction reaction which always takes place at the cathode. Oxygen: 2H20(l) —> O2(g)+ 4e- + 4H+(aq) this is an oxidation reaction which always takes place at the anode.
The type of cell used in this experiment was electrolytic cell. The biggest difference between electrolytic and a voltaic cell is that electrolytic cells include an outside energy source while voltaic/galvanic cells do not. reactions that occur in electrolytic cells are non-spontaneous and reactions that occur in voltaic/galvanic cells are spontaneous. Spontaneous means that the standard potential of the (E) cell is above zero and a redox reaction can occur without outside energy, while non-spontaneous means that the standard potential of the (E) cell is below zero and that it requires outside energy for a redox reaction to occur. Standard potential of E cell can be calculated by subtracting reduction at the cathode by the reduction at the anode.
Will find out about faraday later.