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Conducting liquid that is not electrolysed

  1. Sep 23, 2010 #1
    Hi,
    Can anyone suggest a conducting liquid that does not get electrolysed when current passes through it ?
    By liquid i mean anything, a salt solution, a liquid metal.....The only restricting factor is that is should be in liquid state at room temperature(i.e does not require extra heating/cooling/attention)

    Mercury is option 1, but i'm looking for alternatives...
    Gallium is 2, but it's hell costly.
    Any ? Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2010 #2
    Anyone ?
    In any case, Suppose I use copper sulphate solution and pass AC current through it, will it get electrolysed or will it be in a state of equilibrium ?
     
  4. Sep 26, 2010 #3

    Borek

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    Charge transfer between electrode and solution always means electrode reaction. It doesn't have to be electrolysis - it can be reduction/oxidation, something like Fe(III)/Fe(II).
     
  5. Sep 26, 2010 #4
    So is CuSO4 a good idea?
    If not, could you suggest a relatively inexpensive liquid that i could use to conduct electricity (since i live under the sea, and we don't allow copper wires here...Stupid government)
     
  6. Sep 26, 2010 #5

    Borek

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    Use aluminum wires.
     
  7. Sep 27, 2010 #6
    I need a liquid, not a solid......
    There must be something like mercury but slightly less deadly and also cheap...
     
  8. Sep 27, 2010 #7

    alxm

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    If you find one, you can create a replacement for mercury switches (which've been phased out due to RoHS).

    So far I don't think anyone really has because there simply isn't any known fluid that conducts electricity well enough, or at currents high enough.
     
  9. Sep 27, 2010 #8
    Eptheta if you describe your application people here might come up with suitable alternatives to a liquid.I am thinking of fine carbon powder,it is a good conductor and acts a bit like a fluid.
     
  10. Sep 27, 2010 #9
    Ah, I should probably think of this on my own anyway. (It does have to to with switches and bounce though...)
    Thanks a lot though. I'll look into carbon powder and see if it suits my application.

    This topic can be closed. I don't want to take the fun out of experimenting !
     
  11. Sep 27, 2010 #10

    DrDu

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    Do you want to conduct dc or ac?
     
  12. Sep 27, 2010 #11
    Ah what the heck !
    The application is something like a switch which creates a circuit due to the electrical conductivity of the liquid.

    I need it specifically for AC, but it would be great if it works for DC too...
     
  13. Sep 27, 2010 #12

    Borek

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    Why does it have to be a liquid - perhaps small metal ball on rails will do the trick?

    What currents do you expect - small ones? Large ones?

    I have a feeling it is not a chemistry problem, more engineering one.
     
  14. Sep 27, 2010 #13
    Good point...
    The idea of this thread was just so i can find a suitable 'liquid' (chemistry involved) to start my 'engineering' project (one option) with, but it has evolved to become a discussion of my project itself (which I don't want really).
    So I'll stop it here. Thank for all the suggestions, i appreciate it, but I'm going to have to end up doing it myself.

    Can this topic be closed? (every new reply tempts me to start discussing it again)
    Thanks.
     
  15. Sep 27, 2010 #14

    DrDu

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    I just wanted to give you a tip: Look up how an electrolytic capacitor works.
    That's why I was asking whether ac would do.
     
  16. Dec 11, 2010 #15
    CuSO4 solutions yield sulfuric acid when electrolyzed...
     
  17. Dec 12, 2010 #16

    Borek

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    Depends on what is happening on anode.
     
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