Problem: Both NH3 and C12H22O11 are soluble molecular compounds, yet they behave differently in aqueous solution. Briefly explain why one is a weak electrolyte and the other is a nonelectrolyte.

FREE Expert Solution

Recall that:


• Strong electrolytes: dissociate completely in water; include soluble ionic salts, strong acids, and bases

a. Ionic salts: those that follow the rules of being soluble in solubility rules

b. Strong acids: HCl, HBr, HI, HNO3, H2SO4, HClO4, HClO3

c. Strong bases: Group 1A and 2A (Ca and lower) metals paired with OH, H, O2–, or NH2


 Weak electrolytes: doesn’t dissociate completely in water; include weak acids and bases

a. Weak acids: include HF, HC2H3O2, HNO2, H2CO3, H3PO4

b. Weak bases: Be(OH)2, Mg(OH)2, NH3, NH4OH


• Nonelectrolytes: doesn’t dissociate at all; include molecular compounds

a. Alcohols: composed of carbon and hydrogen with a –OH group

b. Sugars: for example C6H12O6 (glucose) and C12H22O11 (sucrose)

c. Water (H2O)


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Problem Details

Both NH3 and C12H22O11 are soluble molecular compounds, yet they behave differently in aqueous solution. Briefly explain why one is a weak electrolyte and the other is a nonelectrolyte.