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

1 Answer
Nov 13, 2015

see 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 #HCl# 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 #Cl^-#.
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However, acetic acid #HC_2H_3O_2# is a weak acid and will partially dissociate in water producing a small number of ions #H^+# and #C_2H_3O_2^-#. Acetic acid is a weak electrolyte.
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Images source: Zumdahl textbook.