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Q & A: electrolytic conductance

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Do different electrolytes work better at carrying an electric charge? I know Na+Cl or salt works in water, but what are some others? Thanks
- Nelson (age 32)
A:
Yes, different ions conduct electricity different amounts. For example H+ ion has much higher mobility (a measure of how fast it moves in an electric field) than does Na+ or other similar salt ions. Thus a given number of molar concentration of HCl (hydrochloric acid) will conduct electricity better than the same molarity of NaCl. Divalent (doubly charged) ions (like Mg++) general conduct better than monovalent ions (like Na+) because they carry twice as much electric charge. You can find standard tables of mobilities of common ions in aqueous solution.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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