Shipwrecks and Salvage

Contextual Outline

Electrochemistry plays an important part in both theoretical and practical chemistry. Since the discovery of its theoretical basis, knowledge and understanding of the reactions involved have greatly increased. Today electrochemistry is used in a wide range of applications, from space travel to pacemakers to the mobile phone battery.

The ocean represents a massive electrolyte and the effects of the saline environment can be investigated and analysed from the perspective of

prevention of corrosion and its effects. The salvaging of iron ships that have sunk into deep-water environments requires consideration of the effects of anaerobic environments on corrosion. Conservation of salvaged artefacts can require electrolytic reactions.

This module increases students’ understanding of the history, applications and uses of chemistry and current issues, research and developments in chemistry.

Extract from Chemistry Stage 6 Syllabus (Amended October 2002). © 2009, Board of Studies NSW.