Solutions in Chemistry: A Brief Introduction

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Solutions In Chemistry: A Brief Introduction

 

Solutions In Chemistry: A Brief Introduction: Solutions are a very important part of understanding chemistry. Life is very much dependent on solutions. Breathing, digestion, etc., bodily processes are some of the examples of solutions. Solutions are highly dependent on the solubility of substances and the capacity of the chemical reaction of substances. It is a special type of homogeneous mixture composed of two or more substances.

Here, we have explored all the types of solutions in chemistry.

Definition

A solution is a mixture of two or more substances in some variable amount. This term, solution, is usually used or referred for the liquid state of matter. But solutions of gas and solid are possible too.  

  • Examples

Air is a solution made up of oxygen and nitrogen with traces of many other gases. Brass is a solution made up of copper and zinc.

Components of Solutions

The solution is made up of two parts: the solvent and the solute. A solvent is a large part of the solution, while a solute carries a small or very small part of the solution. The liquid that is the base of a solution is known as the solvent, and the substance that we add into the solvent is known as the solute. Solute usually dissolves in a solvent. The amount of solute getting dissolved in solvent decides the concentration of a solution. 

If a solution contains a small amount of solute in a large amount of solvent, it is known as a Dilute Solution. If a solution contains a large amount of solute in a small amount of solvent, it is known as a Concentrated Solution.

If a solution has uniform composition and properties, it is known as a Homogenous Solution – perfume, tea, saltwater, etc. If a solution has non-uniform composition and properties, then it is known as a Heterogeneous Solution. For example, water and sand, water and oil, solution of water and chalk powder, etc.

Solvents can be gases, liquids or solids. When one of the solvents is water, that solution is known as an Aqueous Solution. If we add table salt (NaCl) in water to make saline water, the resultant solution is an aqueous solution. Usually, the substance that is in the greatest amount in solution is known as a solvent. The solution will carry the same physical state as the solvent. Components present in solutions that are not solvents are known as a solute in simple language.  

More examples of Chemical Solutions based on the state of solute and solvent

  • If the solute is gas and solvent is liquid, the solution is called Foam. For example, whipped cream, aerated drinks, etc. 
  • If the solute is liquid and the solvent is also liquid, the solution is called an Emulsion—for example, Mayonnaise, alcohol in water, benzene in toluene, etc. 
  • If the solute is liquid and the solvent is solid, the solution is called Gel. For example, Gelatin, hydrated salts, mercury in zinc, etc.
  • If the solute is solid and the solvent is solid, then a solution is called Solid Sol. For example, Cranberry Glass, brass, bronze, etc.
  • If the solute is solid and the solvent is gas, then a solution is called Solid Aerosol—for example, Smoke, iodine, camphor etc.

Solubility

The capacity and ability of one substance to dissolve in another substance are called solubility. Two liquids usually mix well into each other and become inseparable, which is known as miscible. But when two substances cannot get mixed to make a solution are known as immiscible. There is a fixed amount up to which a solute will mix in the solvent. After that limit, we can not mix more solute into the solvent. Such solutions are known as Saturated Solutions. The saturation of a solution depends on different external factors like pressure, temperature and contamination. Usually, by increasing temperature, you can add and dissolve more solute in the solvent. All types of liquids are preferable solvents in making various day to day solutions.

Types of Solutions

There are three types of solutions: gaseous mixtures, liquid solutions and solid solutions.

If the solvent is gas, we can only use gases as a solute. Such solutions are known as gaseous solutions. For example, the air is made up of oxygen, nitrogen and other gases.

If the solvent is a liquid, we can use almost all gases, liquids, and solids as solutes; such solutions are liquid solutions. For example, oxygen in water, carbon dioxide in water, alcoholic beverages, table sugar in water, salt in water, etc. If we make a liquid solution in water, it is known as an Aqueous Solution. If we make a liquid solution without using water, it is known as a Non-aqueous Solution.

If the solvent is solid, we can use gases, liquids and solids as solutes; such solutions are known as solid solutions. For example, hydrogen dissolved in palladium, mercury in gold, hexane in paraffin wax, phthalate in PVC, steel, bronze, etc. 

Characteristics of Solutions

Solutions carry a specific set of characteristics that are as below:

  • A solution is a homogeneous mixture.
  • A solution is made up of a minimum of two substances.
  • A solution is a one-phase process.
  • A solution might have more than two substances in it.
  • Solute might get dissolved completely in solvent and can not be seen by the naked eye.
  • A solution does not scatter a light beam, so the light path is not visible in a solution.
  • A solution is always stable.
  • Once we generate a solution, the solute can not be separated from the solvent by any filtration method.
  • We can not separate solvent and solute mechanically either.
  • Physical properties of a substance like melting point, boiling point, etc., will change when two substances are mixed to make a solution.
  • We can calculate the ideal properties by the linear combination of all components involved in a solution.
  • Its particles are too tiny and usually have a diameter of less than 1 nm.
  • Solutes do not lead to sediment.

Conclusion

In the world of chemistry, solutions play a vital role. In this article, we learn about solutions with all the required information and examples. We learnt about solubility in detail too. We have also discussed components of solutions, types of solutions, and characteristics of solutions. We hope you found this article helpful and you received all the required information here.

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