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Difference between Solution Solute and Solvent

Chemistry | 7-14 yrs | Interactive

What is a solution?

A solution is a homogeneous mixture of solutes, dissolved in a solvent. A homogeneous solution is a mixture of two or more components that have a uniform appearance and composition.

Examples of solutions

  • Seawater (Solid in Liquid)
  • Vinegar (Liquid in Liquid)
  • Carbonated Drinks (Gas in Liquid)
  • Air (Gas in Gas)

What is a solute?

A solute is defined as the substance that is dissolved in a fluid to make a solution. The concentration of the solute is a deciding factor to generally determine the state of the solution; solid, liquid or gaseous.

Examples of solute

  • Almost all metallic salts
  • Sugar
  • Edible Salt

What is a solvent?

A solvent is usually a liquid used to dissolve a solute.

Classification of solvents

Solvents can be classified into Polar (example Water) and Non Polar (example Hydrocarbons).

Polar and Non-Polar Solvents

Polar solvents encourage the formation of ions. Non Polar solvents do not form ions. The capacity of a solvent to form ions is known as dielectric constant. The dielectric constant for water is very high. The large dielectric constant of water means that substances whose molecules contain ionic bonds will tend to dissociate in water yielding solutions containing ions.