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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An ionic solution, as the name suggests, is a solution containing ions. Ionic solutions are formed by dissolving ionic compounds in a solvent (typically water). An example of an ionic solution is common salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) dissolved in water. When ionic compounds are dissolved in water, they dissociate into cations and anions. The presence of these ions is the reason we call the resultant solution an ionic solution.

Ionic solutions are important for their ability to conduct electricity. For example, we can try to pass electricity through a piece of common salt, but nothing will happen, as the solid sodium chloride does not have free charges. When the same salt is dissolved in water, it dissociates into cations (sodium ions, Na+) and anions (chloride ions, Cl-). Now we have free charges available and these will be able to conduct electricity and hence an ionic solution formed by dissolving sodium chloride in water will conduct electricity.

Hope this helps. 

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