A 0.050 M aqueous solution of which compound is the best conductor of electric current?

A 0.050 M aqueous solution of which compound is the best conductor of electric current?

(1) C3H7OH

(2) C6H12O6

(3) MgSO4

(4) K2SO4

Answer and Explanation:

First we need to go over what kind of compounds are the best conductors of electricity, or electrolytes.

These are: metals, ionic compounds that are molten, ionic compounds that are dissolved in water, strong acids and strong bases. Let's now go over the compounds listed in answer choices: C3H7OH is a covalent compound (all the elements are nonmetals) and does not conduct electricity, C6H12O6 similarly is a covalent compound because it consists of all nonmetals. Going further, both MgSO4 and K2SO4 are ionic compounds. They consist of a metal Mg (magnesium) and a polyatomic ion (sulfate) as well as potassium metal and sulfate ion. Both of these compounds can conduct electricity. However, MgSO4 breaks into 2 ions, Mg^2+ and SO4^ 2-. K2SO4, on the other hand, breaks into three ions, 2K+ and one SO4^ 2- ion. Since, choice 4, breaks into most ions it will be a better conductor of electricity than MgSO4. Therefore, choice 4 is the correct answer choice.

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