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Electrolytes used in laboratory

What is electrolytes?

Electrolytes are compounds that can conduct electricity when dissolved in an aqueous solution or a molten state. According to its ionization degree, it can be divided into strong electrolytes and weak electrolytes, and almost all of them are strong electrolytes and only a few are weak electrolytes.
Electrolytes are substances that are bonded by ionic or polar covalent bonds. Compounds can dissociate into freely moving ions when dissolved in water or under heat. Ionic compounds can conduct electricity in an aqueous solution or the molten state; some covalent compounds can also conduct electricity in an aqueous solution, but there are also solid electrolytes whose conductivity comes from the migration of ions in the crystal lattice.

Applications of electrolytes


Electrolyte in human body and regulation of homeostasis

Electrolytes have an important role in the human body. Water and electrolytes are widely distributed inside and outside cells and are involved in many important functional and metabolic activities in the body, and electrolytes play a very important role in the maintenance of normal life activities. The distribution of electrolytes in the human body is as follows: in the normal human body, sodium ions account for 92% of the total cations in the extracellular fluid and potassium ions account for about 98% of the total cations in the intracellular fluid. The relative balance of sodium and potassium ions maintains the functional and structural integrity of the entire cell. Disorders of water and electrolyte metabolism can cause corresponding disorders in the physiological functions of various organ systems throughout the body, especially the cardiovascular system and the nervous system, and the metabolism of substances in the organism, which can often lead to death in severe cases.
The balance of water and electrolytes is regulated by the nervous system and certain hormones, and this regulation is achieved mainly through the influence of nerves and especially some hormones on the renal processing of water and electrolytes.

Solid Electrolyte Application

Solid electrolytes are used in various chemical power sources, such as high energy density batteries, micropower cells, and high temperature fuel cells.
Solid electrolytes are used in various electrochemical sensors, such as oxygen sensors for combustion control, gas sensors for environmental protection, fixed oxygen heads for metal melting, for making various electrochemical devices, such as integral elements, micro Coulometer, timing elements, memory elements, for electrochemical catalysis, such as hydrogenation reactions on hydrocarbons, for material separation and purification, such as purification of sodium metal, oxygen separation, made into ion selective electrodes for physicochemical studies, such as activity determination, diffusion coefficient determination.

Application of polymer electrolytes

Polymer electrolyte has flocculation effect and is an effective polymer flocculant. Its charged parts can neutralize the charge of colloidal particles, destabilize colloidal particles in water, prompt them to collide, entangle many fine particles together and gather into large particles by bridging long polymer chains, thus accelerating sedimentation. It has high flocculation and settling speed, high sludge dewatering efficiency, and is effective in the treatment of certain wastewater. The flocculation capacity of polymer electrolyte is several to tens times greater than inorganic flocculants such as alum and ferric chloride, and it has many unique properties that inorganic flocculants do not have.

How do electrolytes work?

Electrolyte is the process of causing a redox reaction at the cathode and anode by passing an electric current through an electrolyte solution or an electrolyte in its molten state. In this process, electricity was transferred to chemistry. The conditions for electrolysis are an applied power source, an electrolyte solution or a molten electrolyte, and a closed circuit.
For example, in the electrolysis of water, the cathode in the electrolytic cell is an iron plate, the anode is a nickel plate, and the electrolyte is a sodium hydroxide solution. When energized, the positive and negative ions in the electrolyte migrate to the cathode and anode respectively under the action of external electric field, and the ions undergo electrochemical reactions at the electrode-solution interface. The oxidation reaction is carried out at the anode, and the reduction reaction is carried out at the cathode.
The electrolysis of water is the decomposition of water into H2(g) and O2(g) by the action of an external electric field. Electrowinning is a remarkably potent means of promoting reduction and oxidation that many difficult redox reactions can be implemented by using electrolysis. For example, fused fluoride can be redoxed to simple fluorine at the anode, while a molten Lithium salt can be reduced to lithium metal at the crystal. The electrolysis industry has an important role in the national economy. The smelting and refining of many non-ferrous and rare metals, the preparation of basic chemical products, as well as electroplating, electropolishing, and anodic oxidation, are all realized by electrolysis.

Advantages of using electrolytes

There are quite a few benefits of using electrolyte as cathode. The first lies in the larger contact area between the liquid and the dielectric, which is helpful in enhancing the electric capacity. The second is that electrolytic capacitors made with electrolyte can withstand high temperature so that they can pass wave soldering, and also have better voltage resistance.
In addition, the electrolytic capacitor using electrolyte as cathode, when the dielectric is breakdown, as long as the breakdown current does not last, then the capacitor is able to heal itself. However, electrolytic solution also has its shortcomings. Firstly, it is easy to volatilize and leak in high temperature environment, which has a great impact on the life and stability, and the electrolyte may vaporize instantly under high temperature and high pressure, and the volume will increase and cause explosion (which is often called bursting); secondly, the conductivity of the electrolyte is very low, only 0.01S (conductivity, the reciprocal of ohm)/CM, which causes the ESR value (equivalent series resistance) of the capacitor to be very high. is particularly high.

Types of electrolytes

Electrolytes can be classified as both strong electrolytes and weak electrolytes.
Strong electrolytes are electrolytes that are almost completely ionized in aqueous solution or in the molten state, completely ionized and without ionization equilibrium. Weak electrolytes are electrolytes that are not completely ionized in aqueous solution or in the molten state. The nature of the conductivity of a strong or weak electrolyte is independent of the solubility of the substance.
Strong electrolytesWeak electrolytes
strong acids, strong bases, active metal oxides and most salts, sulfuric acid, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, etc.weak acids, weak bases, a few salts, e.g., acetic acid, ammonia monohydrate (NH3-H2O), lead acetate, mercury chloride. In addition, water is a very weak electrolyte.

Factors affecting the strength of electrolyte

Factors affecting the strength of electrolyte
Many factors determine strong and weak electrolytes. Sometimes a substance is a strong electrolyte in one case and can be a weak electrolyte in another case. The effects of these factors on the ionization of electrolytes are discussed below in terms of bond type, bond energy, solubility, concentration, and solvent.
Bond typeThe degree of ionization varies with the bond type of the electrolyte. Typical ionic compounds, such as strong bases and most salts, are known to be able to ionize completely under the action of polar water molecules and are highly conductive, and we call such substances that can ionize completely in aqueous solutions strong electrolytes. In contrast, covalent compounds with weak polar bonds, such as weak acids, weak bases, and a few salts, are only partially ionized in water and have weak electrical conductivity, so we call such substances that can only be partially ionized in aqueous solution weak electrolytes. Therefore, from the structural point of view, the distinction between strong and weak electrolytes is caused by the difference in bonding type. However, the distinction between strong and weak electrolytes only by the bonding type is not comprehensive, as there are cases of strong polar covalent compounds that are weak electrolytes, and HF is one example. Therefore, the amount of ions present in a substance in solution is also related to other factors.
SolubilityThe solubility of an electrolyte also directly affects the conductivity of the electrolyte solution. Some ionic compounds, such as BaSO4, CaF2, etc., although they are all ionized when dissolved in water, their solubility is very small, making their aqueous solutions weakly conductive, but they are still strong electrolytes because of their strong conductivity in the molten state.
ConcentrationThe degree of ionization varies with the concentration of the electrolyte solution. Therefore, it is believed that hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, for example, are strong electrolytes only in dilute solutions, and in concentrated solutions, they are weak electrolytes. From the determination of vapor pressure, we know that 0.3% of 10 mol/L hydrochloric acid is covalent molecule, so HCl in 10 mol/L hydrochloric acids is a weak electrolyte. Usually, when the molecular state of a solute is less than one thousandth, it can be considered a strong electrolyte, but there is no strict boundary between "strong" and "weak" here.

How to use electrolytes?

The original solution is used, with the lead plate as the cathode (negative) and the workpiece as the anode (positive), 60-65 degrees, current density 10-25 amps/square decimeter, voltage 8-10 volts, time 5-8 minutes.

How to configure electrolytes?

Electrolyte is prepared by special sulfuric acid and distilled water in a certain ratio, the density is generally 1.24-1.30 grams per cubic centimeter. Specific gravity 12.75-12.85G/CM3 sulfuric acid plus pure water, if the water is consumed during the use of the battery, add pure water to charge it.
For example, the electrolyte of a lead-acid battery is prepared by 80% sulfuric acid and distilled water in a certain ratio density is generally 1.24-1.30g/cm cubic. Specific gravity 12.75-12.85g/cm3, some lead-acid batteries (such as motorcycle lead-acid batteries) electrolytes need to be refilled by themselves, so that the refilling should be extra careful, never into the eyes, entrance!
If the water is consumed during the use of the battery, add pure water to charge it
The electrolyte is not short for the electrolyte solution but covers a wider area than it does, including the aqueous solution of the electrolyte and the molten state of the electrolyte.

Precautions for using electrolytes

Electrolytes in the polishing solution in its use of the initial electrolytic polishing will produce foam, so the polishing solution surface and the distance between the top of the polishing tank should not be ≤ 15cm.
The stainless steel workpiece in the polishing tank entering the workpiece should be as far as possible to remove the residual water on the surface of the workpiece because the workpiece entrained too much water may cause serious pitting on the polished surface, local leaching, and lead to the scrapping of the workpiece.
In the electrolytic polishing process, as the anode of the stainless steel workpiece, the iron and chromium elements contained in it constantly transformed into metal ions dissolved in the polishing solution and not deposited on the surface of the cathode. With the polishing process, the metal ion concentration increases, and when a certain value, these metal ions in the form of phosphate and sulfate precipitation from the polishing solution, settling at the bottom of the polishing tank. For this reason, the polishing solution must be regularly filtered to remove these solid precipitates.
In the polishing tank operation process, in addition to phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid constantly consumed water loss due to evaporation and electrolysis, in addition, the high viscosity polishing fluid is constantly lost by the workpiece entrainment, polishing fluid level is constantly declining, the need to often add fresh polishing fluid and water to the polishing tank
Neutralization and discharge are in line with today's environmental requirements.
Electrolytes are corrosive, do not enter the eyes, or mouth, and do not touch the skin. If touched by mistake, immediately flush with water, In serious cases, according to strong acid burns to seek medical attention.
The electrolyte should be sealed and kept in a cool place for long-term effect.

How to buy electrolytes?

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