electrolyte

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Electrolyte

An electrolyte is a substance that will allow current to flow through the solution when dissolved in water. Electrolytes promote this current flow because they produce positive and negative ions when dissolved. The current flows through the solution in the form of positive ions (cations) moving toward the negative electrode and negative ion (anions) moving the positive electrode.

Electrolytes can be classified as strong electrolytes and weak electrolytes. Strong electrolytes are substances that completely break apart into ions when dissolved. The most familiar example of a strong electrolyte is table salt, sodium chloride. Most salts are strong electrolytes, as are strong acids such as hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, perchloric acid, and sulfuric acid. Strong bases such as sodium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide are also strong electrolytes. Although calcium hydroxide is only slightly soluble, all of the compound which dissolves in completely ionized.

Weak electrolytes are substances that only partially dissociate into ions when dissolved in water. Weak acids such as acetic acid, found in vinegar, and weak bases such as ammonia, found in cleaning products, are examples of weak electrolytes. Very slightly soluble salts such as mercury chloride are also sometimes classified as weak electrolytes. Ligands and their associated metal ions can be weak electrolytes.

Not all substances that dissolve in water are electrolytes. Sugar, for example, dissolves readily in water, but remains in the water as molecules, not as ions. Sugar is classified as a non-electrolyte. Water itself ionizes slightly and is a very, very weak electrolyte.

Electrolytes are sometimes associated with sporting events and exercise activities. Electrolyte drinks, which contain sodium and potassium salts, are used to replenish water and electrolyte levels in the body during or after performing strenuous exercises. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade®, are electrolyte drinks that also contain large amounts of carbohydrates, such as glucose, to provide extra energy. It is generally not necessary to use electrolyte drinks when performing light or moderate exercise, only during strenuous and/or long-duration physical events that last longer than five hours.

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Electrolyte

An electrolyte is a substance that will allow current to flow through the solution when dissolved in water . Electrolytes promote this current flow because they produce positive and negative ions when dissolved. The current flows through the solution in the form of positive ions (cations) moving toward the negative electrode and negative ion (anions) moving the positive electrode.

Electrolytes can be classified as strong electrolytes and weak electrolytes. Strong electrolytes are substances that completely break apart into ions when dissolved. The most familiar example of a strong electrolyte is table salt , sodium chloride . Most salts are strong electrolytes, as are strong acids such as hydrochloric acid, nitric acid , perchloric acid, and sulfuric acid . Strong bases such as sodium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide are also strong electrolytes. Although calcium hydroxide is only slightly soluble, all of the compound which dissolves in completely ionized.

Weak electrolytes are substances which only partially dissociate into ions when dissolved in water. Weak acids such as acetic acid , found in vinegar, and weak bases such as ammonia , found in cleaning products, are examples of weak electrolytes. Very slightly soluble salts such as mercury chloride are also sometimes classified as weak electrolytes. Ligands and their associated metal ions can be weak electrolytes.

Not all substances that dissolve in water are electrolytes. Sugar, for example, dissolves readily in water, but remains in the water as molecules, not as ions. Sugar is classified as a non-electrolyte. Water itself ionizes slightly and is a very, very weak electrolyte.

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electrolyte (Ĭlĕk´trəlīt´), electrical conductor in which current is carried by ions rather than by free electrons (as in a metal). Electrolytes include water solutions of acids, bases, or salts; certain pure liquids; and molten salts. Gases may act as electrolytes under conditions of high temperature or low pressure. All inorganic acids, bases, and salts are electrolytes. Electrolytic substances are classified as strong or weak according to how readily they dissociate into conducting ions. Potassium chloride and sodium hydroxide are strong electrolytes; they are almost completely dissociated when in solution or fused. Acetic acid is a weak electrolyte. An electrolyte is decomposed when a current passes through it (see electrolysis).

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e·lec·tro·lyte / iˈlektrəˌlīt/ • n. a liquid or gel that contains ions and can be decomposed by electrolysis, e.g., that present in a battery. ∎  (usu. electrolytes) Physiol. the ionized or ionizable constituents of a living cell, blood, or other organic matter.

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electrolyte Solution or molten salt that can conduct electricity, as in electrolysis. In electrolytes, current is carried by ions, rather than by electrons. In a lead-acid car battery, the electrolyte is dilute sulphuric acid, which contains negative sulphate ions and positive hydrogen ions.

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electrolyte (i-lek-trŏ-lyt) n. a solution that produces ions; for example, sodium chloride solution consists of free sodium and free chloride ions. In medical usage electrolyte usually means the ion itself; thus the serum electrolyte level is the concentration of separate ions (sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, etc.) in the circulating blood. See also anion, cation.

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electrolyte A liquid that conducts electricity as a result of the presence of positive or negative ions. An example is a sodium chloride solution, which consists of free sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl) ions. In biology and medicine `electrolyte' usually refers to the ion itself.

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electrolyte A chemical compound which, while molten or in solution, is decomposed by the conduction of an electrical current through it. The current is moved by the passage of ions rather than, as in a metal, free electrons.