Electrolytes In this lab, we experimented with electrolytes, which are substances that allow electrical current to pass through water. The positive and negative ions that are created when electrolytes dissociate in water carry the electrical charge. We can determine if a substance is a strong electrolyte, weak electrolyte or non-electrolyte by testing its conductivity. We studied electrical conductivity of solutions by using the light bulb method – dipping electrodes connected to a light bulb into the solutions. If the light bulb lit up brightly, the solution was a strong conductor (strong electrolyte). If it glowed dimly, it was weak (weak electrolyte). If it did not glow at all, the solution was a non-conductor (non-electrolyte). We used a variety of acids, bases, sugars and alcohols to test conductivity. Some of these solutions were dangerous. Ammonium chloride is toxic by ingestion. Sodium sulfate is an irritant. Ethanol and methanol are flammable, toxic liquids. Hydrochloric, acetic acid and
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