What determines whether an electrolytic solution is strong or weak?

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justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Particles that constitute electrolytic solutions have the ability to disassociate into positive and negative ions. Strong electrolytic solutions dissociate to a large extent or almost all the particles dissolved form ions. Weak electrolytic solutions on the other hand dissociate to a much lesser extent with only a few particles forming ions.

The activity of electrolytes or the degree to which they dissociate in a solution depends on many factors. This is quite complex in nature and to a large extent follows a theory derived by Peter Debye and Erich Hückel.

Both strong as well as weak electrolytes can be basic or acidic or nature.

Some strong bases include:

  • Potassium hydroxide [KOH]
  • Barium hydroxide [Ba(OH)2]
  • Caesium hydroxide [CsOH]
  • Sodium hydroxide [NaOH]

and some strong acids are:

  • Perchloric acid [HClO4]
  • Hydriodic acid [HI]
  • Hydrobromic acid [HBr]
  • Hydrochloric acid [HCl]
  • Sulfuric acid [H2SO4]