- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
An electric current is a stream of charged particles such as electrons or ions, moving through an electrical conductor or space. It is measured as the net rate of flow of electric charge through a region (Horowite and Hill, 2015).Materials through which electric current can pass through easily are called electrical conductors. Electrical conductivity is a measure of the ability of a substance to allow the flow of an electric current. Among solids; metals and graphite are good conductors of electricity. Some liquids are also good conductor (Alkins, 2001).
The electrical conductivity of liquids is an important analytical measurement in many industrial processes. This measurement is one of the more non-specific types of analytical technologies because it does not discriminates between different conductive substances dissolved into solution. For this reason, conductivity measurement is found in process applications, where the types of conductive substance is irrelevant (for instance in Ultra-pure water treatment for semi – conductor “chip” manufacturing where any conductive substance dissolved in the water is undesirable).
When electrical current is passed through a conducting solution, the molecules of the solution dissociate into ions. Ions are positive or negative charges. These ions cause electrical conduction through the liquid. A liquid that conducts electricity due to presence of ions is called an electrolyte. Studies have shown that liquids like lemon juice, liquid soap, rain water, salt solution etc. conduct electricity where as liquids like distilled water, oil alcohol etc. do not conduct electricity. Only substances which are poor conductors of electricity gave a conductivity of about 10-10 ohm and such oils find application as insulating oils in electrical apparatus (Lacht, et al., 2005).