Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 1 decade ago

I need help with conductivity! I dont understand! PLEASE HELP!?

Classify each of the following solutions (all 0.10 M) as good conductors, weak conductors, or non-conducting.

C2H5OH

KOH

H2SO4

HC6H5O2

HC2H3O2

WHY!! I dont understand how to tell!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Understanding this problem depends on our knowledge of the compounds and how electric current is conducted.

    In general, aqueous solutions conduct electricity by transferring ions (electrically charged particles); fine metallic particles suspended in water would do the trick too.

    Charged particles are most easily created as ions and ions are created in one of three general ways - by dissolving ionic solids [salts] , by dissolving strong acids or bases in water, or by reacting acids and and bases to form salts [one should be a 'strong' acid or base].

    You can look up the 'acidity constant' and solubility product to determine how much will dissolve and an approximate pH [which is generally related to conductivity].

    In the first compound, you have to know that C2H5OH is a formula for ethyl alcohol, an organic compound that does not form ions easily in water, and does not carry charge well, hence it is not very conductive.

    You can look up chemicals by formula at http://www.inchem.org/pages/icsc.html

    and other sites including Yahoo chemistry at http://dir.yahoo.com/Science/chemistry/

    Some organic compounds are acidic or basic and can form weak ionic solutions. As a very general help, an organic compound is one with carbon in the formula that is not present as a carbonate or cyanide (-COOH is how an organic acid is usually written).

    The next two should be known by their formulae - they are a strong acid and base (which ones?) and would conduct electricity very well.

    The fourth one, HC6H5O2, could be a number of weird organic compounds (there aren't enough Hs to match all the Cs, so some of the Cs are probably joined together) like catechol which is a low-strength 'double' organic base; solubility 43g/100cc water.

    see: http://www.inchem.org/documents/icsc/icsc/eics0411...

    The last one is probably acetic acid [a moderate organic acid] and should have been written as H3CCOOH; it is completely miscible with water [i.e., dissolves at all ratios].

    It could also be or methyl formate HCOOCH3 which is not common and very flammable; it would not dissolve in water very well [30 grams/100 cc].

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Good conductors are the solutions where the species dissociate/ionise almost completely in solution. Weak conductors, are where they do this partially and non conductors are where they virtually do not dissociate/ionise.

    First you would figure out if the compounds are organic or ionic. Organic compounds here are C2H5OH, HC6H5O2 and HC2H3O2. Generally, organic compounds are non conducting or weak conductors (I can't separate any further, sorry!). The ionic compounds are generally good conductors, these are KOH and H2SO4.

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