What is an anode used for?

Anode: Function and Application


The anode is an electrode through which conventional current flows into a polarized electrical device. The direction of electric current is, by convention, opposite to the direction of electron flow. Thus, an anode is positively charged in a galvanic cell, and negatively charged in an electrolytic cell.


The primary function of an anode is to supply positive charge to the electric circuit and oxidize elements during the electrochemical reactions. In a battery or a galvanic cell, the anode is the source of electrons for the external circuit. During operation, oxidation occurs at the anode, resulting in the release of electrons.


  • Electroplating: Anodes are used to deposit metals onto a substrate by passing electrical current through an electrolyte solution where the metal ions travel to the cathode.
  • Corrosion Protection: Sacrificial anodes are utilized to protect metal structures, such as ships' hulls and pipelines, from corrosion. They do this by oxidizing more readily than the material they are protecting, thereby 'sacrificing' themselves.
  • Batteries: In batteries, the anode discharges electrons to the external circuit and is oxidized during the electrochemical reaction.
  • Electrolysis: Anodes facilitate the process of electrolysis where electrical energy is used to drive a non-spontaneous reaction, such as the decomposition of water into oxygen and hydrogen gas.


In summary, an anode is an integral part of any electrochemical cell, playing a critical role in the process of oxidation, providing a path for the flow of electrical current, and serving various practical applications ranging from electroplating to corrosion protection.

Back to blog

Leave a comment