How do acids conduct electricity with H+ ions?

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Acids by themselves don't necessarily conduct electricity. An example is boron tribromide, a Lewis acid. What makes acid (aqueous) solutions good conductors, is the capability of the acid of interacting with water molecules, by creating positive and negative charged ions.

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MartianCactus
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MartianCactus

Updated on November 22, 2022

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  • MartianCactus
    MartianCactus about 5 hours

    I know that ions can conduct electricity, but H+ ions has no electrons! How can it conduct electricity then. Like if we were talking about Cl- or Na+ then these ions do have electrons.

    But how can something that has no electrons be used to conduct electricity?

    Also, do acids conduct electricity only in water and not on their own?

    And, do acids also stop conducting electricity after all the ions have been deionized? (like NaCl aqueous solution)

    • Ivan Neretin
      Ivan Neretin over 6 years
      Electrons are very much not a magic substance that is involved whenever someone talks about electricity. It is electric charge that matters, and $\ce{H+}$ surely does have one.
    • MartianCactus
      MartianCactus over 6 years
      so how can a positive charge conduct electricity?
    • Ivan Neretin
      Ivan Neretin over 6 years
      Just like a negative charge does: by moving around.
    • MartianCactus
      MartianCactus over 6 years
      so we can do the same thing with a proton too? If yes, then what about bases? They have a OH- ions. How can it conduct electricity?
    • Ivan Neretin
      Ivan Neretin over 6 years
      What same thing? All ions have electric charge. Therefore they conduct electricity whenever they move. That's the reason for conductivity of electrolytes.
    • MartianCactus
      MartianCactus over 6 years
      so we use molecules as electrons? Do we only need something to move?
    • MartianCactus
      MartianCactus over 6 years
      we use molecules instead of electrons to produce electricity and we make them move due to their charge. That is what I got
    • Ivan Neretin
      Ivan Neretin over 6 years
      Again, electricity does not mean that electrons are involved.
    • MartianCactus
      MartianCactus over 6 years
      ok thx for your answer
  • MartianCactus
    MartianCactus over 6 years
    how does that help in conducting electricity?
  • The_Vinz
    The_Vinz over 6 years
    Because the transmission of electricity involves the movement of charged particles (be them ions, such as in ionic solutions, or electrons, such as in metals).
  • MartianCactus
    MartianCactus over 6 years
    ok, thx for your answer