An Ionic Inquiry Yields Saline Solutions

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Physics, Experiments


In this experiment, we will be finding the best conductor of electricity among four salt species in the solutions. The motive of our experiment is to build a tesla coil that has a saltwater tank capacitor. While some of the coil builders use sodium chloride in the tank.


To find out the best salt species that can be used as the best conductor of electricity in solution.


1. We hypothesised that the monovalent salt would prove to be less effective than the divalent salt.

2. The concentration and temperature affect the conductivity of a solution. Therefore, it is very important to control these factors while performing this experiment.


1. 0.1 M solution of Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)

2. 0.1 M solution of Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

3. 0.1 M solution of Sodium Sulfate (Na2So4)

4. 0.1 M solution of Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3)

5. Notebook

6. EC meter

7. Thermometer


Step 1:  Take 0.1 molar solution of each of the two Diavalent solutions and two Monovalent solutions such as Calcium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Chloride, and Sodium Sulfate.

Step 2:  Dilute these solutions at 0.01M and 0.001M.

Step 3: Make five replicates of each of the four salts at each of the three concentrations.

Step 4:  Measure the Electrical Conductivity values of each salt using an EC meter.

Step 5:  Before measuring replicate values of EC, calibrate the meter with two standard solutions, that is 12.88mS and 1.413 mS, each time.

Step 6:  Record your observation in the notebook.


1. From our observation, we obtained a list of salt solutions that ranked highest to lowest in terms of average EC values.

2. The list goes like Calcium Chloride, Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, and Sodium BiCarbonate.

3. From the small range and little variation, we find almost no or little variation between the value of replicate salts solutions.


1. The hypothesis in which we assumed that the Divalent salts like Calcium Chloride and Sodium Sulfate would have higher Electrical conductivity value than that of monovalent salts like Sodium Hydrogencarbonate and Sodium Chloride, proved to be right.

2. Among all four salts, at 0.1 M, Calcium Chloride had the highest electrical conductivity value.

3. At all three concentrations, Sodium chloride had higher electrical conductivity values than Sodium Hydrogen carbonate.

4. We also observed a slightly different relationship between the concentration and conductivity of salt solutions.

5. The main aim, which was to find the most suitable salt for the Tesla coil was CaCl2. Instead of using sodium chloride in a Tesla coil, One should use Calcium Chloride.

6. However, for more safety, try replacing CaCl2 with NaHCO3, which is a poor conductor.

7. In our further experiment, we will try to perform this experiment with trivalent salt like Aluminum Chloride (AlCl3).

Calcium chloride


1. Perform your experiment cautiously.

2. You can take help from your teacher or lab assistant.


In this experiment, we find the best salt that can be used in a tesla coil based on their electrical conductivity values. Here we find that calcium chloride could be used as a better conductor of electricity than sodium chloride in a tesla coil.

Viva Question with Answers

Q.1 What was the aim of your experiment?

ANS. We aimed to determine the best salt species that can be used as the best conductor of electricity in a tesla coil solution.

Q.2 Which salt should be used in building a good saltwater capacitor for a Tesla coil?

ANS. Calcium Chloride can be used in building good saltwater capacitors for tesla coil






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1 Comment

  1. Roman Callaghan

    Thanks for this information. It was crisp and amazing.


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