Electrolytes and Dihydrogen Monoxide

In our most recent exploration lab, we played with solutions of table salt, or sodium chloride, and water. The sodium chloride component is termed an electrolyte, due to the fact that sodium chloride is a salt, and, therefore, an ionic compound. An electrolyte is an ionic compound that dissociates into both cations and anions in a solvent. Due to the positive and negative charges, said solution conducts electricity. A solution is a solute dissolved in a solvent, or in other words, particles of a surrounded by water molecules (or another solvent, water is simply the most common). Below are our varying concentrations of salt solutions.


Supersaturated concentration.


Saturated towards unsaturated concentration.


Deionized water only.

A particle diagram of a salt solution such as the one we made can be easily created. The image would be based off of the polarity of water. In the diagram, the hydrogen would face the chlorine because of the slight opposing charges, and the oxygen would face the sodium for the same reasons. An example is shown below.

Mathematically, we can show the difference in concentration by comparing the grams of salt per milliliter of water. On our first two tries, we kept track of the amount of salt used per 100 mL water, but were later instructed to not worry about the mass of salt, so we were unable to calculate our g/mL ratios for the solutions that were ultimately tested and deemed acceptable.We identified the solutions qualitatively by the level of brightness produced by the light bulb when it was placed in solution. This is based off of the characteristic of conductibility. The level of dissociated ions in the water impacted the amount of glow. In other words, the more salt present per constant amount of water, the brighter glow produced by the bulb. Molarity and molality can also be used to track difference in concentration, with the formulas appearing as M= mols solute/ L solution and m= mols solute/ kg solvent, where M is molarity and m is molality.


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