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Electrolytes.doc - Electrolytes Introduction ELECTROLYTES...

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ElectrolytesIntroductionELECTROLYTES are substances that, when dissolved in water, permit PASSAGE OF ANELECTRICAL CURRENT THROUGH THE WATER.Electrolytes produce IONS whendissolved in water, and the positive and negative ionic particles carry the electrical charge of thecurrent through the water. Various substances can behave as electrolytes.All SALTS are electrolytes, assuming they dissolve to a great enough extent in water.Saltsin the solid state consist of an extended lattice of alternating + and - ions, and when added to water,this lattice breaks up, releasing the individual ions into the solution for conducting the current. Oneof the most important medical determinations is a patient’s “electrolyte balance.” Nerve impulsesare sent through the body by electrical currents, and if the levels of electrolytes are incorrect, suchnerve impulses may be incorrectly transmitted.All ACIDS (H+producers) and BASES (OH-producers) are electrolytes. Some acids, suchas HCl, ionize completely when dissolved, and conduct electrical currents very well.Some bases,such as NaOH, also ionize completely when dissolved, and also conduct currents very well.Acids/bases such as HCl and NaOH, which conduct electrical currents very well, are calledSTRONG electrolytes.Other acids, such as acetic acid, do NOT ionize very well when dissolved inwater, but rather exist in solution mostly as the molecular species.Some bases, such as ammoniaand organic derivatives of ammonia, likewise do not ionize very well in water.Acids/bases that doNOT ionize well will not conduct very much electrical current, and are called WEAK electrolytes.Some species NEVER ionize when dissolved in water, and will not conduct an electricalcurrent through water at all.These are referred to as NON-electrolytes.Such substances aretypically nonpolar, covalently bonded molecules (most typically, ORGANIC chemical substances).The extent to which a solution will conduct an electrical current depends on other factorsalso.For example, we may have a substance such as NaCl, which is considered a strong electrolyte.But if a solution of NaCl is VERY DILUTE, there is so much DISTANCE between sodium ionsand chloride ions, that effectively, the solution will not conduct electricity very well.We can also change the ability of a solution to conduct electricity by chemically reacting thedissolved electrolyte.For example, we would expect a solution of acetic acid to conduct electricityvery poorly.But if we were to add some chemical reagent to the solution that caused a chemicalreaction to occur, then the electrolytic properties of the resulting solution may change.CHEMICALS69
Calcium chloride, CaCl2¾no major health risksSodium chloride, NaCl¾no major health risksAmmonium chloride, NH4Cl¾toxic by ingestionSodium sulfite, Na2SO3¾irritantGlucose or dextrose, C6H12O6¾no major health risksSucrose, C12H22O11¾no major health risksEthanol, C2H5OH¾

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Term
Spring
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Sodium chloride, Sodium hydroxide

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