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8.9: Ions and Electrolytes

Electrolytic solutions are those that are capable of conducting an electric current. A substance that, when added to water, renders it conductive, is known as an electrolyte. A common example of an electrolyte is ordinary salt, sodium chloride. Solid NaCl and pure water are both non-conductive, but a solution of salt in water is readily conductive. A solution of sugar in water, by contrast, is incapable of conducting a current; sugar is therefore a non-electrolyte.