Chemistry >> Metals and Non-metals
Explain why solid sodium chloride does not conduct electricity but in the molten state or in the aqueous solution, it is a good conductor of electricity. Explain.
Conduction of electricity through a solution involves the movement of charged particles. Although solid sodium chloride consists of Na+ and Cl– ions but the movement of these ions is not possible due to strong inter-ionic forces of attraction between them and hence, solid sodium chloride does not conduct electricity. However, in the molten state, the heat provided overcomes these forces of attraction. As a result, Na+ and Cl– ions separate out and are free to move and hence, NaCl conducts electricity in the molten state. In aqueous solution also, the Na+ and Cl– ions have independent existence. On passing electricity, these ions move towards oppositely charged electrodes (Na+ ions towards cathode and Cl– ions towards anode) and hence carry current. Thus, NaCl is a good conductor of electricity in the aqueous solution.
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