# Question #3fc56

Mar 16, 2015

Ionization is a special case of dissociation.

#### Explanation:

Dissociation is a process in which compounds separate or split into smaller particles.

We might write the general equation as

$\text{A-B" → "A + B}$

For example,

$\text{NaCl(s)" → "Na"^+"(aq)" + "Cl"^"-""(aq)}$

In this case, the solid $\text{NaCl}$ consists of ${\text{Na}}^{+}$ and $\text{Cl"^"-}$ ions.

All they are doing when $\text{NaCl}$ dissolves is separating from each other.

When the substance already contains ions, the process is often called dissociation.

Many covalent compounds also dissociate in water to form ions.

For example,

$\text{HF(aq)" ⇌ "H"^+"(aq)" + "F"^"-""(aq)}$

When covalent compounds dissolve in water to produce ions, the dissociation process is often called ionization.

Here's a great video on ionization and dissociation.