Acids and Bases

Why is a few drops of sulfuric acid added to water before electrolysis?

User Avatar
Wiki User
May 30, 2012 1:53PM

Electrolysis of pure water is very slow, and can only occur due to the self-ionization of water. Pure water has an electrical conductivity about one millionth that of seawater. It is sped up dramatically by adding an electrolyte (such as a salt, an acid or a base).