Properties of Solutions

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A solution is a mixture of materials, one of which is usually a fluid. A fluid is a material that flows, such as a liquid or a gas. The fluid of a solution is usually the solvent. The material other than the solvent is the solute. We say that we dissolve the solute into the solvent. Some solutions are so common to us that we give them a unique name. A solution of water and sugar is called syrup. A solution of sodium chloride (common table salt) in water is called brine. A sterilized specific concentration (0.15 molar) of sodium chloride in water is called saline. A solution of carbon dioxide in water is called seltzer, and a solution of ammonia gas in water is called ammonia water. A solution is said to be dilute if there is less of the solute. The process of adding more solvent to a solution or removing some of the solute is called diluting. A solution is said to be concentrated if it has more solute. The process of adding more solute or removing some of the solvent is called concentrating. The concentration of a solution is some measurement of how much solute there is in the solution. It might initially offend your sensibilities to consider a solution in which the solvent is a gas or a solid. The molecules of a gas do not have much interaction among them, and so do not participate to a large extent in the dissolving process. Solids are difficult to consider as solvents because there is a lack of motion of the particles of a solid relative to each other. There are, however, some good reasons to view some mixtures of these types as solutions. The molecules of a gas do knock against each other, and the motion of a gas can assist in vaporizing material from a liquid or solid state. The fan in a 'frost free' home freezer moves air around inside the freezer to sublimate any exposed ice directly into water vapor, a process clearly akin to dissolving. Solid metals can absorb hydrogen gas in a mixing process in which the metal clearly provides the structure. True solutions with liquid solvents have the following properties: PROPERTIES OF SOLUTIONS

1.The particles of solute are the size of individual small molecules or individual small ions. One nanometer is about the maximum diameter for a solute particle. 2.The mixture does not separate on standing. In a gravity environment the solution will not come apart due to any difference in density of the materials in the solution. 3.The mixture does not separate by common fiber filter. The entire solution will pass through the filter. 4.Once it is completely mixed, the mixture is homogeneous. If you take a sample of the solution from any point in the solution, the proportions of the materials will be the same. 5.The mixture appears clear rather than cloudy. It may have some color to it, but it seems to be transparent otherwise. The mixture shows no Tyndall effect. Light is not scattered by the solution. If you shine a light into the solution, the pathway of the light through the solution is not revealed to an observer out of the pathway. 6.The solute is completely dissolved into the solvent up to a point characteristic of the solvent, solute, and temperature. At a saturation point the solvent no longer can dissolve any more of the solute. If there is a saturation point, the point is distinct and characteristic of the type of materials and temperature of the solution. 7.The solution of an ionic material into water will result in an electrolyte solution. The ions of solute will separate in water to permit the solution to carry an electric current. 8.The solution shows an increase in osmotic pressure between it and a reference solution as the amount of solute is increased. 9.The solution shows an increase in boiling point as the amount of solute is increased. 10.The solution shows a decrease in melting point as the amount of solute is increased. 11.A solution of a solid non-volatile solute in a liquid solvent shows a decrease in vapor pressure...
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