Types of Solution, Chemistry tutorial


The solutions are of great significance in day by day life in that they encompass some of the foods we eat and most of the drinks we drink, and they as well form the basis of numerous household products like disinfectants, cleansers, coatings and medications. We most of the time think that only things such as salt dissolving in water are a solution when, in fact, things such as smoke particles suspended in the air is well solutions.

Define: The solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances in such a way that their relative amount might be steadily changed in certain limits.


A solution is the homogeneous or unafraid mixture of two or more substances of solute in the solvent at a specific temperature.

A few illustrations of solutions are salt water, rubbing alcohol, and sugar dissolved in the water. Whenever you look closely, on mixing salt with water, you cannot observe the salt particles anymore, making this a homogeneous mixture.

Let us make use of our salt water illustration to talk regarding the two major parts of a solution. These are:

Solute: It is the substance which makes up the minority of the solution, or this is the portion which is dissolved. In our illustration of salt water, the solute is the salt.

Solvent: It is the substance which makes up the mainstream of the solution. This is the portion where the solute is dissolved. In our illustration of salt water, the solvent is water.

Whenever we think regarding solutions, the very first thing we assume about is a substance dissolved in water. This is natural as after all, water is the universal solvent. Though, solutions are not restricted to the liquid phase. The solutions can exist in the gaseous state or phase - the air we breathe is a solution which is comprised of a mixture of gases. Solutions are as well present in the solid phase - brass is a solid solution which is the mixture of copper and zinc.

Types of Solutions:

The material exists in three states: solid, liquid and gas. The solutions exist in all such states:






Mixture of gases (example: air)



Aerated water (a solution of CO2 in water under pressure).



Gas absorbed by metals or minerals (e.g. H in palladium)



Moist air



Alcohol in water



Mercury in zinc (zinc amalgam)



Camphor in air.



Salt in water



Alloys (e.g. brass)

1) The gaseous mixtures are generally homogeneous and all the gases mixtures are gas-gas solutions. For quantitative treatment of this kind of solutions, the air is a natural gas solution; however its water and carbon-dioxide contents might differ based on the temperature and places.

2) Whenever molecules of gas, solid or liquid are dispersed and mixed by those of liquid, the homogeneous (or uniform) states are termed as liquid solutions. Solid, liquid and gas dissolve in the liquid to produce liquid solutions. Generally the terms solution and liquid solution are synonymous. Gases and liquid solutions have attracted the attention of most chemists, whereas material scientists and engineers are more interested in the formation and properties of the solid solutions.

3) Most of the alloys, ceramics, and polymer blends are solid solutions. In certain range, copper and zinc dissolve in one other and harden to provide solid solutions termed as brass. Silver, gold and copper form lots of different alloys having unique colors and appearances. The alloys and solid solutions are significant in the world of materials. The research, progress, manufacture and production of these materials are big business, and a company for illustration, Standard Alloys, might concentrate on several features of these materials.

Types of solution according to their saturation ratio:

We can as well consider solutions under three titles according to their saturation ratio; like saturated solutions and unsaturated solutions and supersaturated solutions.

1) Saturated Solutions:

If the solution dissolves highest amount of solute at particular temperature, then we state them as saturated solutions. In this kind of solutions there can be solid matters (that is, un-dissolved) at the bottom of tank.

Get some water, in a container or beaker. By constant stirring, add some crystals of sugar, till they don't dissolve and begin to settle down. The solution therefore obtained is the saturated solution of sugar, at room temperature.

2) Unsaturated Solutions:

If the solutions dissolve more solute at particular temperature, then we state them as unsaturated solutions. If we vaporize some of the solvent or add some solute we can form saturated solutions.

Get a few crystals of sugar and dissolve them in the glass of water. The outcome is an unsaturated solution, as the solution consists of the capacity to dissolve additional crystals of sugar (or solute) at a particular temperature.

3) Supersaturated Solutions: If solutions encompass more solute than its capacity, we state these solutions supersaturated solutions. We form them by heating solution and adding solute, after that we cool gradually supersaturated solution. We can observe crystallization of solute in the supersaturated solutions.

A super saturated solution is that which encompasses high amount of dissolved solute than that present in the saturated solution; at the particular temperature. The preparation of super saturated solution is needed for crystallization. The crystallization is a simple and general process for the purification of impure compounds.

Types of solutions as suspensions and colloids:

Suspensions and colloids are the two different kinds of solutions.

1) Suspensions:

The substances that are insoluble in water form suspensions. The suspension is a heterogeneous mixture in which the small particles of a solid are spread all through a liquid without dissolving in it. Example: Chalk water mixture (or suspension of particles of fine chalk suspended in water), muddy water (or suspension of soil particles in the water), milk of magnesia (that is, magnesium hydroxide in water), sand particles suspended in water and flour in the water.

=> Properties of a suspension:

If we shake some chalk powder with water in a beaker, then a milky suspension is made. We can observe the fine particles of chalk suspended all through the water without dissolving in it. If this suspension of chalk and water is kept uninterrupted for some time, then the chalk particles settle down at the bottom of the beaker. This implies that chalk and water suspension is not stable. If we filter the suspension of water and chalk, the chalk particles are left behind as a remainder on the filter paper and clear water is attained as a filtrate. This implies that chalk and water suspension can be separated to chalk and water through filtration. And whenever a beam of light is passed via a chalk and water suspension, it scatters the beam of light and renders its path visible within it.

The suspension is a heterogeneous mixture. The size of solute particles in a suspension is fairly large. It is bigger than 100 nm in diameter. The particles of suspension can be seen with no trouble. The particles of suspension don't pass via a filter paper. Therefore, a suspension can be separated via filtration. The suspensions are not stable. The particles of suspension settle down after some time. The suspension scatters a beam of light passing via it (as its particles are fairly large).

2) Colloids (colloidal solutions):

The colloid is a type of solution in which the size of solute particles is in-between between those in the true solutions and those in suspensions. The size of solute particle in a colloid is bigger than that of a true solution however smaller than those of a suspension. However colloids appear to be homogeneous, however in reality they are found to be heterogeneous whenever observed via a high power microscope. Therefore, a colloid is not a true solution. Example: Soap solution, milk, ink, starch solution, blood, jelly and solutions of the synthetic detergents.

=> Properties of colloids:

The colloid comes out to be homogeneous however in reality it is heterogeneous. The size of particles in a colloid (or colloidal solution) is bigger than those in a true solution however smaller than those in the suspension. This is between 1 nm and 100 nm in diameter. The particles of most of the colloids (or colloidal solutions) can't be observed even by a microscope. The particles of the colloid (or colloidal solution) can pass via a filter paper. Therefore, a colloid can't be separated via filtration. The colloids are fairly stable. The particles of a colloid don't separate out on keeping. The colloid scatters a beam of light passing via it (as its particles are quite large).

The scattering of light via colloidal particles is termed as the Tyndall effect. The scattering of light via colloidal solutions states us that the colloidal particles are much bigger than the particles of a true solution and therefore colloidal solutions are not true solutions. Therefore, a true solution can be differentiated from a colloidal solution via the fact that a true solution doesn't scatter a beam of light passing via it however a colloidal solution doesn't depict Tyndall effect however a colloidal solution depicts Tyndall effect.

Different Ways of deducing concentration of Solutions:

To point out the composition of a solution, we should encompass an idea of the relative amount of the different types of constituents in that solution. Chemists state these relative amounts as the concentration.

The relative amounts of a solute and a solvent in the solution are expressed via concentration terms. A few of the ways of deducing the concentration of a solution are illustrated below:

A) Molarity (M):

It is as well termed as molar concentration, is the number of moles of a substance per litre of solution. The solutions labeled by the molar concentration are represented by a capital M. A 1.0 M solution includes 1 mole of solute per litre of solution.

Molarity = Moles of solute/Litres of solution

B) Molality (m):

It is the number of moles of solute per kilogram of solvent. This is significant that the mass of solvent is employed and not the mass of the solution. Solutions labeled by molal concentration are represented by a lower case m. A 1.0 m solution includes 1 mole of solute per kilogram of solvent.

Molality = Moles of solute/Kilograms of solvent

C) Normality (N):

Normality of a solution is stated as the number of gram equivalents of solute present per litre of the solution. Therefore,

Normality = Number of gram equivalents of solute/Volume of solution in litres

The number of gram equivalents are stated as = Mass of solute/Equivalent mass

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