Electrochemistry is the branch of chemistry which deals with the chemical changes caused in the matter. During this process conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy takes place and vice versa. During the research in electrochemistry properties of electrolytes are efficiently used in such a way that it results in the formation of cells and batteries. The reactions inside the cell or battery are called as electrochemical reactions. These reactions are energy efficient and cause less pollution. These electrochemical cells having electrolyte have a great importance in the field of technology.

What are Electrolytes

Chemical Compounds which conducts electric current in a molten or aqueous state are called as electrolytes.

  • These compounds decomposed by the passage of electric current.
  • Does not allow current in a solid-state.

Electrolyte Definition

Electrolytes are the compound molecules which readily ionizes completely or partially in a solution.
  • Chemical decomposition of a chemical compound can be brought by using electric current. Such a chemical process is called as electrolysis.

Nonelectrolyte definition

These are the molecules of a compound which do not ionizes in a solution
  • These compounds do not conduct electric current at all whether in a solid-state or in an aqueous state. They are called as non-electrolytes. They are the poor conductor of electricity.

Types of Electrolytes

Strong and Weak Electrolytes

Types of electrolytes are:

  • Strong electrolyte.
  • Weak electrolyte.

Metallic Conductors

Conductors are the substances which allow electricity(or electrons) to flow through them. While substances which do not allow the flow of electric current are called non-conductors or insulator. Metallic conductors are also called as electronic conductors because they conduct current due to movement of electrons. They may be metals, semimetals (metalloids) and also alloys(which is a combination of more than one metal).

Depending on their capacity metal can be classified as a good and poor conductor. On supplying energy, with the help of a battery, this allows passage of current (or electrons).The rise of temperature and electric energy of a battery also responsible for conductivity. Therefore, the number of factors on which conductance depends is

  • Nature of metal number
  • Number of Valence Electrons
  • Temperature

Electrolytic Conductors

An electrolyte solution contains electrolyte in a molten state. It contains ions, molecules that have lost or gained an electron. These solutions contain two ions, positive and negative ions which cause the mobility and conduct electricity. How much ions produce in quantity depends upon Strong and Weak Electrolytes.

  • Their conductivity increases with the rise in temperature.
  • Electrolytes are generally acid, base and salt.

Strong and Weak electrolytes

Difference between Strong Electrolytes and Weak Electrolytes

Strong Electrolytes Weak Electrolytes
  1. Electrolytes which allow a large amount of electricity to flow through them.
  1. Electrolytes which allow small amounts of electricity to flow through them.
2.These are good conductors. 2. These are poor of electricity.
3.These are almost completely dissociated in fused or aqueous or aqueous solution state. 3. These are partially dissociated in fused or aqueous or aqueous solution state.
4.These solutions contain (almost) only free mobile ions. 4.These solutions contain ions as well as molecules.
5.Strong electrolyte allows a bulb to glow brightly. 5.Weak electrolytes allow a bulb to glow dimly.

Table of Electrolyte Examples – Strong and Weak Electrolytes

  Strong Electrolytes Weak Electrolytes
  •  Hydrogen chloride,
  • Sulphuric acid,
  • Nitric acid, etc
  • Carbonic acid,
  • Oxalic acid,
  • Acetic Acids, etc
  •  NaOH,
  • KOH

Both are in an aqueous or molten state.

  • Calcium hydroxide,
  • ammonium hydroxide, (aqueous or molten state)
  • NaCl (molten or aqueous)
  • PbBr2 (molten),
  • CuCl2, (aq)
  • CuSO4(aq)
  •  Sodium carbonate and
  • It’s bicarbonate

The diagram shows Formation of ions.

Strong and Weak electrolytes

List of Electrolytes

  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Ammonia
  • Hydroiodic acid
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Acetic acid
  • Hydrobromic acid
  • Calcium Hydroxide
  • Carbonic acid

Nonelectrolyte Examples

Non Electrolytes
    • Pure water.
    • Sugar
    • Lipids
    • Carbohydrates
    • CarbonTetra Chloride.


  • Hydrocarbons
  • Fats.
  • Oxygen
  • Sulphur Dioxide
  • Alcohol Family
  • Carbon Dioxide.

Is NaOH a Strong Electrolyte

  1. Oxidation means loss of electrons and Reduction means gaining of electrons.
  2. There is a formation of Sodium ions Na+ and hydroxide OH–  in a Solution.
  3. Almost completely dissociated in fused or aqueous or aqueous solution state.
  4. Bulb glow brightly.

So, NaOH is a strong electrolyte.

Is KCl a Strong Electrolyte

  1. Formation of Potassium ions K+ and Chloride Cl–  in a Solution.
  2. Almost completely dissociated in fused or aqueous or aqueous solution state.
  3. Bulb glow brightly.

So, KCl is a strong electrolyte.

Is NH3 a Strong Electrolyte

  1. Formation of Ammonium ions NH4+ and hydroxide OH–  in a Solution.
  2. Partially dissociated in fused or aqueous or aqueous solution state.
  3. Bulb glow dimly.

So, NH3 is a weak electrolyte.

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