Why do the electrons not flow through the electrolyte instead of the external circuit in a electrolytic cell connected to an external circuit? I mean, if an electrolyte is a conductor why would the electrons take the way through the external circuit rather than through the electrolyte to the other electrode of an opposite charge?


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marked as duplicate by Mithoron, hBy2Py, Community Apr 8 '18 at 17:47

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thanks @Mithoron. Thought for sure I'd seen a dupe of this before. $\endgroup$ – hBy2Py Apr 8 '18 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I accepted the duplicate vote by mistake haha... Anyway, I do not see how it answers it. So think I need a little further help :) $\endgroup$ – asd Apr 8 '18 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ asd, the short answer is that electrons can't carry current within the electrolyte, because they are too reactive: they would immediately react to form ions. The electrolyte is a conductor because it's an ionic conductor. $\endgroup$ – hBy2Py Apr 8 '18 at 17:52