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Solutions and Solubility Notes

Solutions are homogeneous mixtures that are made up of very small particles that have
been dissolved into another substance. Solutions can be made from many different
substances in many different physical states, but all solutions share some common

A. Properties of solutions:

1. Solutions are homogeneous mixtures

2. The dissolved particles in a solution will not come out of the solution, no matter
the length of time
the solution is allowed to stand, assuming the solution is covered.
3. Solutions are clear and transparent because the dissolved particles are too small
to be seen.
4. Solutions cannot be separated by filtering because the dissolved particles are
smaller than the
holes in the filter.
5. Solutions are considered to be in one phase even though they may be made of
solute/solvent pairs
in different phases.

B. Components of Solutions

Solvent: dissolving medium

Solute: the substance being dissolved

Solutions can be created using solutes and solvents of any physical state of matter. Most
often, the results solutions remains in the same state as the solvent used to create it.

State of State of State of Solute Example

Solution Solvent
gas gas gas Air
gas gas liquid water vapor in air (humidity)
gas Gas solid The odor of a solid --
molecules of that solid being
dissolved in the air
liquid liquid gas Oxygen in water, soda pop
(CO2 in water)
liquid liquid liquid Alcohol in water
liquid liquid solid Salt in water
solid solid gas Hydrogen in palladium
solid solid liquid Mercury in silver (amalgam)
solid solid solid Silver in gold (alloy)

Each solution has its own unique solubility. The amount of solute that will dissolve into a
particular solvent can vary under certain conditions.

C. Solubility Terms
The solubility of a solution is a measure of how much of the solute can be dissolved into the
solvent. The solution reaches a point called the saturation point when no more solute will be
accepted by the solvent. Any further addition of solute will result in solid solute mixed in with the
saturated solution. (In this way, solubility can be thought of as a recipe for the creation of a
saturated solution). Each solvent and solute pair has a characteristic solubility at a given
temperature. Usually as you increase the temperature, an increased amount of solute will be able
to dissolve.
solubility- the measured amount of a solute that will dissolve in a specific amount of solvent at a
certain temperature and/or pressure.
For the easiest view of solubility, think of examples of a solid solute dissolving into a liquid solvent,
keeping in mind that other materials do not work in the same fashion.

Solubility of salts (ionic compounds) depends upon the type of ions in the salt, while solubility of
molecules depends upon the idea of “like dissolves like”. There is a very great range of solubility of
salts in water. Even the most insoluble, such as silver chloride, have a very small but detectable
Several terms are used along with the idea of solubility to help classify solutes that will and will not
form solutions.

(referring to a solid solute mixing with a liquid solvent):

soluble- when a solid solute will mix, dissociate, and

form a solution (all the solid particles disappear)

insoluble- when a solid solute will NOT mix, and layers

form (all the solid particles fall to the bottom of the
container unchanged)

(referring to a liquid solute mixing with a liquid solvent):

miscible- when a liquid solute will mix, dissociate, and form a solution

immiscible- when a liquid solute will NOT mix, and layers form

D.Factors that affect the degree of solubility:

1. The nature of the solute and solvent. “like dissolves like”

2. Temperature- solids and liquids  increase temperature,

increase solubility
gas solutes  increase temperature, decrease solubility

3. Pressure- solids and liquids  no effect

gas solutes  increase pressure, increase solubility
decrease pressure, decrease solubility

Just as there are factors that will determine how much solute can combine with a solvent,
factors also exist that determine how fast a solute can dissolve in a solvent.

E. Factors affecting the rate of solution:

rate of solution- rate at which the solute dissolves in the solvent

1. Size of particles (surface area)- smaller solute particles dissolve faster because the
solvent has a larger surface area to attack
2. Stirring- particles of the solute and solvent come in contact with one another more
often, and cause the solute to dissolve faster
3. Temperature- solids and liquids  increase temp., dissolves faster
gas solutes  increase temp., dissolves slower
4. Amount of solute already in solution- solute will dissolve faster if there are few
particles dissolved in the solvent, as the amount of solute in the solution increases the
time it takes the solute to dissolve will increase

F. Heats of Solution:
a. Exothermic Releases heat (gets warm)
Ex. NaOH + water
b. Endothermic Absorbs heat (cools)
Ex. ammonium nitrate
G. Solubility – maximum amount of solute that will dissolve in a given amount of solvent
(specified temperature & pressure)
a. Saturated – solution contains maximum amount of dissolved solute for a given
amount of solvent (specific temp. & press.) maximum solute dissolved (additional
falls to bottom)
b. Unsaturated – contains less than saturated solution (can dissolve more solute)
c. Supersaturated Solution – contains more dissolved solute than a saturated
solution at the same temperature.
 Ex. Sugar in Water
 Make by heating water, adding more solute, then cooling slowly.
 Unstable –When tiny amount of solute (seed crystal)is added, all the
excess solute precipitates.
d. Crystallization – also can occur when inside of the container is scratched or
solution undergoes shock.

Solubility can be used to help determine information about the types of solutions created for a
given amount of solvent, for the temperature at which the solution was created, and the types of
compounds that are most likely to dissolve in a particular solvent.

Often information about the solubility of a substance will be presented in a statement,

graph, or table form. In the graph, notice the variables that appear on the x and y axes,
these graphs will always be constructed this way.

Use the following statement to answer these questions.

Q1: The solubility of KClO3 at 25 oC is 10.0 g of solute in 100.0 g of H2O.

-If 15.0 g of KClO3 are added to 100.0 g of water at 25 oC with stirring, how much of the solute will
dissolve? Is the solution saturated, unsaturated, or supersaturated?

- If 15.0 g of KClO3 are added to 200.0 g of water at 25 oC with stirring, how much of the
will dissolve? Is the solution saturated, unsaturated, or supersaturated?

Plotting data into a solubility graph and/or looking up information in a table led to the
development of generalities in solubility (that is a broad, general statement that can be
used to determine if specific ions will usually be soluble or insoluble). Using this
simplification of classifying materials as either soluble or not in water at room temperature,
there are some nice easy general rules for predicting whether or not a salt will dissolve in
water. These rules are useful not just for predicting how to make solutions, but ion
reactions, such as a double displacement reaction, depend upon the insolubility of a salt as
a possible product for the reaction to happen.

Stuff for you to memorize!

Simple Rules for Solubility of Salts in Water

1. Most nitrate (NO3-) salts are soluble

2. Most salts of Na+, K+, and NH4+ are soluble

3. Most chloride salts are soluble. Notable exceptions are AgCl, PbCl2, and

4. Most sulfate salts are soluble. Notable exceptions are BaSO4, PbSO4, and

5. Most hydroxide salts are only slightly soluble. The important soluble
are NaOH, KOH and Ca(OH)2 (marginally soluble).

6. Most sulfide (S2-), carbonate (CO3-) and phosphate (PO43-) salts are only
Use the following graph to answer these questions.

1. The y axis measures the amount of solute that will dissolve into a given amount of
solvent. Identify the solvent in the solutions represented by the graph, and describe
how much of it will be used to create the solution.
2. The x axis describes the conditions under which the solution has been created.
Based on this
graph, what factor affects the amount of solute that can dissolve? What other unit(s)
might this
variable be measured in?
3. At which temperature do KBr and KNO3 have the same solubility?
4. At 60oC, how much KNO3 can 100 g of water hold?
5. Which compound's solubility changes very little with temperature?
6. Which compound's solubility changes the most with temperature?
7. Which compound has the greatest solubility at 60oC?
8. Which compound has the least solubility at 20o C?
Monday Homework: Use the table above to answer these questions.
***After having read section 14.1 in the book, prepare a table comparing and
contrasting suspensions, colloids, and solutions. The table should include how
each varies with regard to particle size, visibility of particles, settling of particles,
ability to separate by filtration, Tyndall effect, appearance, homogeneous v.
heterogeneous, etc. The table should be completed for Wednesday.

Answer the following questions based on the solubility curves below.

Table 1 Table 2

Table 1 Questions
1. What is the solubility of KNO3 of 60°C? ___________________
2. What is the solubility of KNO3 at 30°C? ___________________
3. Which compound varies the least in solubility over temperature range of the graph?
4. What change occurs in the solubility of Ce2(SO4)3 as the temperature of the solution increases from 20°C to
100°C? ______________________
5. What is the difference between the solubilities of KNO3 and NaCl at 24°C? __________________
6. What is the difference between the solubilities of KCl and NaCl at 75°C? _____________________
7. What is the average rate of change of solubility of NaNO3 in grams per 100g of water per Celsius degree in the
range from 10°C to 30°? ____________________

Table 2 Questions
1. At what temperature does NaCl have the same solubility in moles per 100g of water as sugar (C12H22O11)?
2. In terms of solubility in grams of 100g of water, how does the solubility of sugar compare with that of NaCl at
the temperature given as the correct answer to question #1?
Table 3 Questions
1. Which salt is least soluble in water at 20°C? _____________________
2. How many grams of potassium chloride can be dissolved in 200g of water at 80°C? ____________
3. At 10°C, how much potassium nitrate can be dissolved in 300g of water?_____________________
4. Which salt shows the least change in solubility from 0°C to 100°C? _________________________
5. At 30°C, 90g of sodium nitrate is dissolved in 100g of water. Is this solution saturated, unsaturated or
supersaturated? ______________________________________
6. A saturated solution of potassium chlorate is formed from 100g of water. If the saturated solution is cooled
from 80°C to 50°C, how many grams of precipitate are formed? _____________________
7. What compound shows a decrease in solubility from 0°C to 100°C? ___________________________
8. Which salt is most soluble at 10°C? ______________________
9. Which salt is least soluble at 50°C? _______________________
10. Which salt is least soluble at 90°C? _______________________
11. Give the formula for the substance that is probably a gas. _____________________
12. A solution of KCl in 100g of water is saturated at 10°C. How many grams of KCl are in the solution?
13. How many grams of NaCl will dissolve in 200g of water at 100°C? ______________________
14. If you have dissolved 100g of potassium nitrate in 100g of water at 70°C, would you classify the solution as
saturated, unsaturated, or supersaturated? _________________________
15. At what temperature would you need 100g of water to dissolve 70g of potassium nitrate?