An electrolyte is a liquid or solution that can conduct electricity. Another definition would be a compound that dissolves in water to produce ions which can conduct an electrical current. A substance that does not form ions in solution is called a nonelectrolyte. The ions are what make electrolytes conduct electricity. Sometimes the electrolytes make substances and gases other than hydrogen and oxygen come out when the solution is electrolyzed. This is when the substance is more easily oxidized than oxygen or more easily reduced than hydrogen. Sodium chloride, for example, makes chlorine instead of oxygen. Strong acids and bases make good electrolytes because they make many ions. Weak acids, weak bases, salts that do not dissolve, and substances that do not ionize make poor electrolytes.
Examples of strong electrolytes
Examples of weak electrolytes
- Acetic acid
- Chemistry: Precision and Design; Verne Biddle and Gregory Parker; A Beka Book science
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