Q:

What is the difference between a solute and a solvent?

A:

Quick Answer

When discussing solutions, the solute is the substance which dissolves, while the solvent is the substance into which the solute dissolves. Creating a salt water solution involves dissolving salt in water, making salt the solute and water the solvent. However, determining which is the solute or solvent is not always so simple, and some rules exist for determining which substance dissolves in the other.

  Know More

Full Answer

Three common states of matter exist: gases, liquids and solids. Only the solute goes through a change in state when a solution is created. If both reagents remain in the same state, the one of which there is the least remaining is the solute.

One example of a solution that is somewhat more complicated is the dissolution of hydrogen chloride gas within a liquid to create hydrochloric acid. Dissolving a gas in a solid, as with hydrogen in platinum, is a possible solution. While one might view a liquid as the solvent when it enters a solution with a solid, that is not always the case. It is possible to dissolve liquid mercury in solid sodium to create an alloy. Wine that is 12 percent alcohol by volume indicates the ratio of the solution of the alcohol within the solvent water.

Learn more about Chemistry

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some common types of solutes?

    A:

    A solute is a substance which is dissolved in a solvent to make a solution; a common example is sugar. Sugar added to water, which is the solvent in this case, dissolves into sugar water.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a non-aqueous solvent?

    A:

    A solvent is a substance that dissolves a solute in the formation of a solution, and any solvent other than water is considered a non-aqueous solvent. Some common examples include ether, alcohol, benzene, disulphide, carbon tetrachloride and acetone. While water is a useful solvent for investigating acid-base properties, the differences between water and other solvents mean that non-aqueous solvents often provide more realistic experimental outcomes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a dissolved substance?

    A:

    A dissolved substance is a solute that is completely soluble in the solvent, resulting in the formation of a homogeneous solution. The solute can be a solid or a liquid or a gas.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do I define solute and solvent?

    A:

    According to the Division of Chemical Education at Purdue University, a solute is a substance that dissolves to form a solution. A solvent is the substance in which a solute dissolves.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore