Do Bases Conduct Electricity? 7 Facts You Should Know


Bases are alkali substances and are better to taste, having a pH greater than 7. Let us discuss whether bases conduct electricity or not.

The bases conduct electricity and even increase the electrical conductivity of the water when mixed in it. Bases are used in batteries, as carbon dioxide absorbers, paint making, and as cable covers and are very important in metallurgical industries.

Bases attract the positive ions/ protons and hence are called proton acceptors. We know that metal conducts electricity because of the motion of the free electrons. Let us discuss further in this article how bases conduct electricity.

When does base conduct electricity?

Substances conduct electricity due to the velocity of the charges/ ions in a close loop. Let us see when exactly does base conducts electricity.

Base conducts electricity in liquid/ solution form because upon mixing the base in any liquid, the hydroxide ions produced can move freely in the solution, thus conducting electricity when the charges move from the positive terminal to the negative terminal.

How does base conduct electricity?

The matter conducts electricity due to the flow of charges. Let us elaborate on how the base conducts electricity.

The base conducts electricity from dissociated hydroxide ion, which carries one negative charge and the cation from the respective compound. Thus it shows attraction towards protons neutralizing their charge and becoming stable. The presence of charge is responsible for the conduction of electricity.

The negative charge of hydroxide ion is due to the oxygen atom that carried two negative charges sharing one electron with a single hydrogen ion to form a bond. Hence, the charge of the hydroxide ion is -1.

Why do bases conduct electricity in solution?

A substance is considered a good conductor if the electric flux passes through it. Let us discuss why bases conduct electricity only in the solution form.

The bases conduct electricity in solution because the atoms are loosely packed in liquid compared to solids; hence, electrons are free to move. The negatively charged ions will move towards the anion, and the positively charged ions will move towards the cation, thus conducting an electric current.

Example of bases that conduct electricity

Let us reckon some examples of bases that conduct electricity upon dissociating ions when mixed in solution.

Some examples of bases that conduct electricity are listed below:-

  • Sodium hydroxide NaOH
  • Calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2
  • Potassium hydroxide KOH
  • Barium Hydroxide Ba(OH)2
  • Aluminum Hydroxide Al(OH)3
  • Zinc Hydroxide Zn(OH)2
  • Ferric Hydroxide Fe(OH)3
  • Ferrous Hydroxide Fe(OH)2
  • Copper Hydroxide Cu(OH)2

All these bases can conduct electricity when mixed in the solution because the bases will be dissociated in the form of their respective ions breaking the ionic bonds when dissolved in the water. The mobility of the ions/ charges is essential to conduct the electricity.

Do weak bases conduct electricity?

The weak bases have a pH value greater and closer to 7 and dissociate fewer hydroxide ions. Let us discuss the electric conductivity of weak bases in detail.

The weak bases are not good conductors of electricity because weak bases merely react with other substances and have low solubility in any liquid. Upon dissolving in liquid, very few ions are dissociated in the solution; hence the ionization of these bases is very weak.

The ionization is not completely carried out in weak bases as the charge flow is terminated. The electric flux through the fluid is minimal, and hardly the positive and negative ions reach anion and cation, respectively; hence electrical conductivity is impossible.

Do acids conduct electricity better than bases?

The acids and bases will conduct electricity if they are hydrophilic. Let us clarify whether the acids or bases are good conductors of electricity.

A strong acid conducts electricity better than a weak base, and a strong base conducts electricity better than a weak acid because strong acid or base produces more ions in the solution compared to weak acid or base at a constant temperature, pressure, and concentration.

The electrical conductivity of the acids or bases depends upon the number of ions dissociated in the solution. The electrical conductivity is directly proportional to the charges/ ions present in a solution and their mobility.

Conclusion

We can conclude from the article that the strong bases are good conductors of electricity compared to the weak bases. The electrical conduction in bases depends upon the number of hydroxide ions dissociated in the solution upon mixing.

AKSHITA MAPARI

Hi, I’m Akshita Mapari. I have done M.Sc. in Physics. I have worked on projects like Numerical modeling of winds and waves during cyclone, Physics of toys and mechanized thrill machines in amusement park based on Classical Mechanics. I have pursued a course on Arduino and have accomplished some mini projects on Arduino UNO. I always like to explore new zones in the field of science. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. Apart from this, I like to read, travel, strumming on guitar, identifying rocks and strata, photography and playing chess. Connect me on LinkedIn - linkedin.com/in/akshita-mapari-b38a68122

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