The Difference Between Galvanic Cells And Electrolytic Cells

Explain the difference between galvanic cells and electrolytic cells in terms of energy requirements


  • uses a spontaneous reaction in order to generate electricity
  • composed of two half-cells with separate electrolytes and a salt bridge connecting the electrolyte solutions
  • electrons are lost from the anode and travel through a conductive wire (electric current) where it is absorbed by cathode and reduction takes place


  • electrical energy is required in order for a non-spontaneous chemical reaction to occur
  • composed of two electrodes placed in the same electrolyte solution
  • electrons are withdrawn from the anode by the battery and then flows from the negative terminal of the battery to the cathode
  • amount of reactants consumed or products formed depends on the amount of electricity transferred at the electrodes

Comparing galvanic and electrolytic cells: