# How does acetic acid differ from hydrochloric acid in degree of conductivity, and why?

Nov 13, 2015

see explanation.

#### Explanation:

For a solution to be a good conductive is when it contains a high number of ions that will serve as electrons shuttles from one electrode to another.

Having said that, solutions that can produce a high number of ions in solutions will be highly conductive solutions and they are called strong electrolytes.

Hydrochloric acid $H C l$ is a strong acid because it is a strong electrolyte and it is considered that will completely dissociate in water to produce a high number of ions ${H}^{+}$ and $C {l}^{-}$.

However, acetic acid $H {C}_{2} {H}_{3} {O}_{2}$ is a weak acid and will partially dissociate in water producing a small number of ions ${H}^{+}$ and ${C}_{2} {H}_{3} {O}_{2}^{-}$. Acetic acid is a weak electrolyte.

Images source: Zumdahl textbook.