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What Is A Solution?

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A homogenous mixture of two or more different components in a relative amount having the particle size smaller than 1nm in the mixture is known as a solution in Chemistry. The term usually applies to the liquid state of matter, but solutions could even be of gases or solids. The air around us is an example of a solution that has oxygen in major amounts and nitrogen and other trace elements in smaller amounts. Alloys are an example of a solution in a solid-state.

Although a solution is a mixture of various substances, all the substances in a solution appear as a single phase. That is, a solution always has particle homogeneity. This also explains that all particles in the solution are evenly distributed. This can be explained with the following example- when you have a soft drink, the taste of the soft drink doesn’t change, it remains the same throughout the bottle, which describes the particle homogeneity of the solution.

In this article, we will learn what are solutions, the types of solutions, properties of solutions and so on. So, read on and explore all about solutions in Chemistry.

 

Characteristics of Solutions

A solution is a mixture of two or more different components. Out of these, one substance is always a component in which the other component dissolves. That is, one substance is a solvent and others are called solutes which dissolve in the solvent. So, the solvent is the substance which dissolves other substances in it, such as water. Water is also called the universal solvent because it dissolves most of the other particles in nature. The quantity of solvent is larger than the quantity of solute.

Solute, on the other hand, is the substance or component which is usually present in lower quantities than the solvent and it gets dissolved in the solvent.


Examples Of Solutions

1. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.

2. The air around us is an example of a gaseous form of solution.

3. Sugar syrup is a solution of sugar in water. Water is the solvent and sugar are the solutes in this case.

4. Coffee or tea is also an example of a solution.

5. Carbonated drinks are solutions of water as a solvent and carbon dioxide and other ingredients as solutes.

6. Tincture of iodine has alcohol as the solvent and iodine as the solute.


Types Of Solutions

Liquid solutions with water as the solvent are the most often found solutions around us. But gaseous and solid solutions are also quite abundant in nature. A solute or a solvent may be in any state of matter- gases, liquids, or solids. So, depending upon the physical state, solutions can be classified into various types.

Solution

Solute

Solvent

 Examples

Solid-solid

Solid

Solid

Alloys like brass (made up of zinc and copper), bronze (Made up if tin, copper and other elements), Steel (Made of iron, carbon and other elements), etc.

Solid-liquid

Solid

Liquid

The solution of sugar, salt in water, etc.

Solid-gas

Solid

Gas

Sublimation of substances like iodine, camphor is an example of solid-liquid solution

Liquid-solid

Liquid

Solid

Mercury in amalgamated zinc

Liquid-liquid

Liquid

Liquid

Alcoholic beverages, ethanol in water, benzene in toluene, etc.

Liquid-gas

Liquid

Gas

Water vapor in the air

Gas-solid

Gas

Solid

Hydrogen absorbed in palladium that is used for H2 Storage

Gas-liquid

Gas

Liquid

Aerated drinks, Seltzer water which is also CO2 gas in water, etc.

Gas-gas

Gas

Gas

Air, natural gas, etc.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is a Saturated Solution?

Ans: If a solution at a given temperature is no more able to dissolve any more solute in the solvent, it is said to be saturated. Upon saturation, any additional amount of solute added to the solution leads to the formation of a precipitate or is led off as a gas.

2. What are the properties of Solution?

Ans: Any type of solution has some specific properties. They are as follows-

A solution is a homogeneous mixture.

  • Every particle in the solution is not more than 1nm in diameter. This means that the particles of a solution are too small.

  • Because of the tiny size, the particles of a solution are not visible unless under a microscope.

  • A beam of light gets refracted, absorbed or reflected while passing through a solution, this is because the particles in the solution do not scatter the light. So, the path of light is not visible.

  • Solutes in a solution do not form sediment and hence, it is not possible to separate the solute particles from the solution.

  • The components of the solution can neither be filtered out using filtration.

  • A solution is a stable mixture.

3. What is the concentration of a Solution?

Ans: The quantity of solute in a given solution gives the concentration of the solution. The solvent is always present in greater proportion than the solute. However, the quantity of solute present in the solution decides whether the solution is diluted, concentrated, or saturated.

The concentration of a solution can be found out by formula-

  1. The concentration of solution= Amount of solute/Amount of solution

  2. The concentration of solution= Amount of solute/Amount of solvent