1. In order to be able to compare the effects of electrolytes on membrane potentials and cataphoretic potentials it seems necessary to distinguish between the charging and depressing effect of electrolytes on these potentials. Only low concentrations of acids and alkalies have a charging effect on the membrane potentials of proteins, while low concentrations of neutral salts have only a depressing effect; in the case of the cataphoretic potentials, low concentrations of salts have a charging effect as have also low concentrations of alkalies and in some cases low concentrations of acids. This difference finds its explanation in the difference of the origin of the two potentials and there can therefore be no common theory for the charging effect of electrolytes in the two cases.
2. There exists, however, an analogy in the depressing action of electrolytes on the two types of potentials inasmuch when the maximal P.D. is reached, all three kinds of electrolytes, acids, alkalies, and neutral salts, have a depressing effect on both types of potentials (taking into due consideration the effect of changes in the hydrogen ion concentration).
3. This depressing effect is adequately explained for the membrane potentials of protein solutions and protein gels on the basis of the Donnan equilibrium, and the question arises whether the same explanation may also hold for the cataphoretic potentials.
4. The active ion in the depressing action of electrolytes on membrane potentials as well as on cataphoretic potentials has the opposite sign of charge from that of the colloidal particle. It had been shown before that only the valency but not the chemical nature of the active ion determines the depressing effect in the case of membrane potentials and it is shown in this paper that the same is true for the cataphoretic potentials of particles of collodion, mastic, Acheson's graphite, and denatured egg albumin.
5. It is shown that the same valency rule holds also for the effect of acids on the cataphoretic potentials of collodion particles coated with gelatin, and that the ratio of the effect of dibasic to that of mono-basic acids is approximately 0.66, as Donnan's theory of membrane potentials would demand.
6. If we have a right to conclude from the validity of the valency rule for cataphoretic potentials that the depressing effect of electrolytes on the cataphoretic P.D. is determined by the Donnan equilibrium, we can understand the analogy between the depressing action of electrolytes on membrane potentials of hydrophilic colloids and on the cataphoretic potentials of hydrophobic colloids. We can also understand the analogy between the influence of electrolytes on the precipitation of hydrophobic colloids and on the depression of the values of all those properties of hydrophilic colloids which depend on the Donnan equilibrium, since the precipitation of hydrophobic colloids occurs when the cataphoretic P.D. is depressed below a critical value.