# What would a 0.12M solution of an acid that ionizes only slightly in solution be termed?

Jun 7, 2017

Regardless of its concentration, it is called a weak electrolyte. Weak electrolytes dissociate slightly in solution, i.e. they form few ions in solution for a given sample of solute.

(We thus expect the conductivity of this solution to be low.)

Since it is an acid, it is also a weak acid.

We thus describe this small dissociation, or ionization, using the acid dissociation constant,

${K}_{a} = \left(\left[\text{A"^(-)]["H"^(+)])/(["HA}\right]\right)$

for the reaction

${\text{HA"(aq) rightleftharpoons "A"^(-)(aq) + "H}}^{+} \left(a q\right)$,

and for weak acids, ${K}_{a}$ tends to be smaller than $1$. For example, acetic acid has ${K}_{a} = 1.76 \times {10}^{- 5}$.