Classify each of the following substances as a nonelectrolyte, weak electrolyte, or strong electrolyte in water: (c) NH3
Here we have ammonia. Ammonia is NH3. Now ammonia, we're going to say it is a weak base. And because it's a weak base, we're going to say that it is a weak electrolyte. So weak acids and weak bases are weak electrolytes. Now, how does this work within water?
Well ammonia's special, when we throw it into water, it's weak so we're going to draw double arrows, when we throw it into water what it does here is it takes away a hydrogen from the water and get's transferred into NH4 positive and gets transformed into ammonium ion. Water loses an H+ so it becomes an OH-. So this is what happens to any water molecule that gets too close to ammonia. So even though ammonia doesn't have any OH ions on it, it helps to create it by reacting with a single mole of water. There's hundreds apon hundreds of water molecules all around, ammonia just abstracts, or takes away, one of these H+'s from a single water molecule to create this OH- ion.
So again, ammonia is a weak base, weak bases and weak acids are weak electrolytes.