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.Know More
Water has a dielectric constant that is higher than many other solvents, which means that it has a greater ability to decrease the force existing between two electric charges. Water also has the ability to act as either a base or an acid, which also sets it apart from other solvents.
As far as non-aqueous solvents go, they belong in one of four categories: amphoteric, both basic and acidic; acidic; basic or aprotic, meaning that the solvent acts neither as an acid or base. The most commonly used amphoteric solvents include ethanol and methanol, which have similar acid-base properties to water but produce fewer ions because of their lower dielectric constants.
Acidic solvents protonate many different compounds that have nitrogen or oxygen, and the strongest one is sulfuric acid. This means that all compounds with those two elements act like bases when in sulfuric acid. The only commonly used basic solvent is liquid ammonia, which levels out the acidity of such solvents as nitric, hydrochloric and acetic acids.Learn more in Solutions & Mixtures
A dilute solution has a low concentration of the solute compared to the solvent. The opposite of a dilute solution is a concentrated solution, which has high levels of solute in the mixture.Full Answer >
Unsaturated solutions are solutions that contain less solute than the actual amount of solute that the solvent can dissolve. If more solutes can be dissolved in the solution, the solution is still considered unsaturated. Every solute and solvent combination has its limit, and once this limit is reached, the substance is in a state that is called the saturation point.Full Answer >
Chemists calculate the normality of a solution by dividing the gram equivalent weight of the solute by the volume of the solution in liters, explains About.com. They calculate the equivalent weight by dividing the molecular weight by the number of positive or negative charges the substance provides through dissolution.Full Answer >
Molarity is an unit for expressing the concentration of a solute in a solution, and it is calculated by dividing the moles of solute by the liters of solution. Written in equation form, molarity = moles of solute / liters of solution.Full Answer >