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You are given compounds $x, y$ and $z$. $x$ conducts electricity in aqueous solution as well as in molten state. $y$ conducts electricity in aqueous form only. $z$ conducts electricity in neither the aqueous nor the molten state. Predict the intramolecular bonds in each compound.

Compound $x$ is clearly ionic. In water, the ions disassociate and form free charges for flow of electricity. In the molten state, the ionic bonds break, and again free charges can flow.

I'm not sure about the other two compounds.

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    $\begingroup$ ""In the molten state, the ionic bonds break,"" This is wrong! What do You think holds the melt together? $\endgroup$
    – Georg
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ As stated by the requirements, the words "molten" and "aqueous" refers to specific classes of compounds that are more likely to be solid near room temperature and have an acceptable solubility in water. If so I'd think $y$ can be an organic compound like maleic anhydride (covalent), but for $z$ the closest class is related to n-polyketones, because they are soluble in water but non-dissociated like the previous compounds. $\endgroup$
    – TheVal
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 12:28

2 Answers 2

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A is an ionic salt like NaCl. Z is covalent and does not solvate to ions when dissolved in water, e.g., sugar, poly(ethylene glycol). Y is polar covalent and requires solvation to ionize, e.g., HCl.

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Note that substances with mobile pi-electron systems can also conduct electricity. For example, graphite is a good conductor. Diamond, although made up of the exact same element (carbon), is not a conductor.

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