Why are Arrhenius acids strong electrolytes?

| May 7, 2018

Arrhenius acids aren’t necessarily strong electrolytes.
An Arrhenius acid is a compound that gives off H+ ions when dissolved in water. like HCl, HF, and ##HNO_3## are all Arrhenius acids.
A compound that gives off ions is considered a strong electrolyte if it completely dissociates in water.
Generally speaking, this corresponds to a pKa of -1.7 or less. Using this criterion, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, and sulfuric acid are all strong electrolytes.
A strong electrolyte, on the other hand, is a compound that almost completely dissociates in water to form ions that conduct electricity. While strong acids are also strong electrolytes, weak acids are not.
Acids that aren’t very ionized (weak acids) aren’t strong electrolytes. Examples of these include acetic acid and hydrofluoric acid. They’ll still help to conduct electricity, but nowhere near as strong as strong acids.

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