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Which of the following is an electrolyte?

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Which of the following is an electrolyte?

A. Alcohol

B. Sodium acetate solution

C. Solid potassium hydroxide

D. Mercury

QUICK ANSWER…

B

SOLUTION…  

Electrolytes are solutions that contain both negatively charged and positively charged ions which are at the same time good conductors of electricity.

A solution of sodium acetate (CH3COONa) can act as a strong electrolyte, this is because it dissociates and ionizes into positively charged sodium and hydrogen ions, and negatively charged acetate and hydroxide ions.

Now for the right answer to the above question:

  1. Option A is incorrect. Alcohols do not ionize into cations and anions, and so could not possibly be an electrolyte.
  2. Option B is correct. Sodium acetate dissociates into positively charged sodium and hydrogen ions, and negatively charged hydroxide and acetate ions.
  3. C is incorrect. electrolytes must always be in the form of solutions, where ions will be the carriers of the electricity, and not in solid form.
  4. D is not the correct answer. Pure metals do not form both positive and negative ions, and so, could not possibly be an electrolyte.

QUICK TIPS…

You may please note these/this:

  • A good electrolyte must contain negative ions as well as positive ions.
  • ions only exist in solutions and not in pure solids.

Use the questions and answers session to raise further questions and deal more on this topic…

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/ culled from 2017 JAMB-UTME Chemistry question 37 /

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