The concentration of the simple copper ions is then so much diminished that the copper plate becomes an anode with regard to zinc. Thus the cell - copper I potassium cyanide solution I potassium sulphate solution - zinc sulphate solution I zinc - gives a current which carries copper into solution and deposits zinc. In a similar way silver could be made to act as anode with respect to cadmium.
For example, when metallic zinc is dissolved in dilute sulphuric acid with production of zinc sulphate (in solution) and hydrogen gas, a definite quantity of heat is produced for a given amount of zinc dissolved, provided that the excess of energy in the initial system appears entirely as heat.
Besides the dryers already mentioned, lead acetate, manganese borate, manganese dioxide, zinc sulphate and other bodies are used.