You are on page 1of 11


A solution is a type of mixture. A mixture is the product of the random scattering of one substance through
another without any chemical reaction.

A solution is a type of homogenous mixture. A homogeneous mixture is any mixture that is even in composition
throughout and in which all components are in a single phase.

A solution is made by dissolving a solute in a solvent.

An aqueous solution is when the solvent is water. For example, if I dissolve 10.0 g of NaCl (table salt) into 1000
mL of water, an aqueous solution of NaCl is produced.
Molarity (M) is the concentration of a solution expressed as number of moles of solute per liter of solution. Its unit
is mol/L or M.

Example: What is the molarity when 0.75 mol is dissolved in 2.50 L of solution?

The answer is 0.300 M.

Example: Suppose you had 72.22 grams of NaCl and you dissolved it in exactly 2.00 L of solution. What would be the
molarity of the solution?

The solution to this problem involves two steps.

Step One: convert grams to moles.

Step Two: divide moles by liters to get molarity.

In the above problem, 58.44 grams/mol is the molar mass of NaCl.

To solve the problem: Hot tip:
𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑠 72.22 grams
Step One: moles = 𝑚𝑜𝑙𝑎𝑟 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑠 = 58.44 grams/mol = 1.235 moles When starting a
problem, write
𝑚𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑡𝑒 1.235 moles
Step Two: molarity = = = 0.6175 mol/L down what values
𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 2.00 L
are given in the
We can simplify these two steps into a one-step equation: question and what
value you are
MV = m/Mr trying to find. This
will help you
molarity x volume = mass/molar mass
determine the steps
needed to find an
Practice A - Try these problems:

1. Sea water contains roughly 2.00 moles of NaCl per 4 liters. What is the molarity of sodium chloride in sea
2. What is the molarity of 245.0 g of H2SO4 dissolved in 1.000 L of solution?
3. What is the molarity of 5.30 g of Na2CO3 dissolved in 400.0 mL solution?

Sometimes you will be asked to find volume of solution or moles of solute.

Example: How many moles of Na2CO3 are in 10.0 mL of a 2.0 M solution?

We know that molarity = moles/volume. If we rearrange this (or look at the triangle above), we can see that moles =
molarity x volume

Moles(Na2CO3) = molarity x volume

= 2.0 M x (10.0/1000)L <------- note conversion of ml to L!!

= 0.020 moles

Example: What volume (in mL) of 18.0 M H2SO4 is needed to contain 2.45 g H2SO4?

We know that volume = moles/molarity. However, although we have molarity (18.0 M) we do not have moles – so
how do we find this? Well, we can see that we have been given grams. Remember that moles = mass/molar mass.

First we find moles:

Moles(H2SO4) = mass/molar mass

= 2.45g/98.079g/mol

= 0.025 mole

Now we can find volume in liters:

Volume = moles/molarity

= 0.025 moles/18.0 m

= 1.39 x 10-3 L

The question asks for mL!

1.39 x 10-3 L x 1000 = 1.39mL

Practice B: Try these problems

1. What weight (in grams) of H2SO4 would be needed to make 750.0 mL of 2.00 M solution?
2. How many moles of Na2CO3 are there in 10.0 L of 2.00 M solution?
When an ionic salt is dissolved into water, it breaks down into its component ions.

This process can be represented in a simple ionic equation:

AB  A+ + B-
For example:

NaCl  Na+ + Cl-

MgSO4  Mg2+ + SO42-

Cu(OH)2  Cu2+ + 2OH-

You should know the following ions:

Practice C: Try to complete the following equations – make sure you balance!

AlCl3 ------->

AgNO3 ------->

KNO3 ------->

Na2CO3 ------->

Mg(NO3)2 ------->

CuSO4 ------->

K3PO4 ------->

Cr2(SO4)3 ------->

Example: What is the concentration of each ion in a 10.5 M sodium sulfite solution?

First write a balanced ionic equation:

Na2SO3  2Na+ + SO32-

We have been given the molarity of the solution in this example. We use this along with a ion/solute ratio.
𝒄𝒐𝒆𝒇𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒊𝒐𝒏
Molarity(ion) = molarity of solution x 𝒄𝒐𝒆𝒇𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒔𝒐𝒍𝒖𝒕𝒆

Remember the coefficient is the big number that we use to balance an equation. The solute in our case is Na2SO3.
Molarity(Na+) = 10.5 M x 1

= 21 M
Molarity(SO32-) = 10.5 M x

= 10.5 M
Practice D: Try the following problems

1. What is the concentration of each ion in a 5.55 M zinc phosphate solution?

2. What is the concentration of each ion in a 1.22 M zinc acetate solution?

Sometimes you will not be given the molarity of the solution and you will need to find that first.

Example: What is the concentration of each ion in the solution formed when 94.78 g of cobalt (III) sulfate is dissolved
into 400.0 mL of water?

First convert mL to L

400.0 mL / 1000 = 0.4 L

Now we must find the molarity of solution. Again, we are given mass and volume.

We find moles from mass:

Moles[Co2(SO4)3] = mass/molar mass

= 94.78 g/406.05 g/mol

= 0.233 moles

Now we have moles, we can find molarity!

Molarity[Co2(SO4)3] = moles/volume

= 0.233/0.4

= 0.5825 M

Now we can form a balanced ionic equation

Co2(SO4)3  2Co3+ + 3SO42-

Now for the molarity of each ion:

𝑐𝑜𝑒𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑖𝑜𝑛
Molarity(Co3+) = molarity of solution x
𝑐𝑜𝑒𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑡𝑒

= 0.5825 M x 1

= 1.165 M
Molarity(SO42-) = 0.5825 x 1

= 1.7475 M

Practice E: Try these problems

1. What is the concentration of each ion in the solution formed when 94.78 g of iron (III) sulfate is dissolved
into 550.0 mL of water?
2. What is the concentration of each ion in the solution formed when 16.5 g of Aluminum sulfate is
dissolved into 600.0 mL of water?
Dilution is the process of reducing the concentration of a solute in solution, usually by adding more solvent. We use
the formula:

M1V1 = M2V2
Where M1 is the initial molarity of the solution, V1 is the initial volume, M2 is the molarity after dilution and V2 is the
volume after dilution

Example: If you dilute 175 mL of a 1.6 M solution of MgSO4 to 1.34 L, determine the new concentration of the solution.

First we must identify what has been given:

V1 = 0.175 L (notice I converted to L!!)

M1 = 1.6 M

V2 = 1.34 L

M2 =?

Simply plug the values into the formula:

M1V1 = M2V2

1.6 x 0.175 = M2 x 1.34

0.28 = M2 x 1.34

M2 = 0.21 M

Sometimes dilution problems require more thought. Here is a tricky example to show you a variation.

Practice F: Try these problems

1. 53.4 mL of a 1.50 M solution of NaCl is on hand, but you need some 0.800 M solution. How many mL of
0.800 M can you make?
2. 100.0 mL of 2.500 M KBr solution is on hand. You need 0.5500 M. What is the final volume of solution
which results?
3. A stock solution of 1.00 M NaCl is available. How many milliliters are needed to make 100.0 mL of
0.750 M
4. What volume of 0.250 M KCl is needed to make 100.0 mL of 0.100 M solution?
5. Concentrated HCl is 12.0 M. What volume is needed to make 2.00 L of 1.00 M solution?
A standard solution is a solution of specific molarity prepared in the lab. You must know the steps.
1. Determine how much solid we need to dissolve

2. Weigh out the exact mass needed of the solid

3. Transfer solid to a beaker and dissolve with some solvent

4. Using a clean glass funnel, transfer solution into a volumetric flask

5. Wash out beaker with solvent a number of times and pour into flask

6. Carefully fill the flask to the line marked at the neck

7. Stopper the flask, and invert at least 10 times to ensure complete mixing has occurred

Common errors that affect the accuracy of the solution:

- Incorrect weighing of solute

- Incorrect calculation of the amount of solute needed
- Overfilling the volumetric flask
- Losing solution through drips or spills
- Not transferring all solute into volumetric flask from beaker
- Reading the meniscus wrong

To determine the amount of solid needed, we must do molarity calculations.

Example: How many grams are needed to prepare a 1.00 M solution of CuSO4 in a 250. mL volumetric flask?

Figure out mass of solid you need to dissolve in that particular amount of water.

MV = m/Mr

M = 1.00 M

V = 0.250 L

m =?

Mr = (from periodic table) 159.62 g/mol

Substitute into the formula:

1.00 x 0.250 = m/159.62

m = 39.9 g

We need to weigh out 39.9 g of solid to dissolve and create a 250mL and 1.00 M solution.

Practice G: Try these problems

1. How many grams of solid would you need in order to prepare a 1.5 M solution of MgSO4 in a 500 mL flask?
2. How many grams of solid would you need in order to prepare a 0.75 M solution of HCl in a 250 mL flask?
In general, the larger surface area the faster the rate of dissolving

This is because a greater surface is exposed to solvent and so exposed to the dissolving process

Look at the two diagrams below. There are plenty of red molecules floating around in solution. There are the same
number (25) of solid blue molecules in each diagram.

For a reaction to happen a red molecule must bump into a blue molecule. The red molecule can only bump into the
blue molecules on the outside of the solid. The blue molecules that are available to be bumped into are coloured in
light blue.

How many red molecules are there in this mixture? 12

How many light blue molecules can react in this mixture? 14

How many red molecules are there in this mixture? 12

How many light blue molecules can react in this mixture? 20

You can see from the diagrams that the blue crystals that have been broken up into smaller pieces have more of
their molecules on the outside. This means that the smaller crystals have a bigger surface area than the same
amount of big crystals.

The red molecules have a better chance of bumping into the smaller crystals .... This is because the smaller
molecules have a bigger surface area.
The more you mix, the faster the rate of dissolving. This is because more solvent is being moved around to dissolve
with remaining solute.

Increasing the temperature = faster rate of dissolving. This is because solvent particles have great kinetic energy so
can dissolve more solute. Solubility increases in higher temperatures – you can dissolve more solute into a solution
at higher temperatures.

Gases dissolve in liquids more easily as pressure is increased

Saturated solutions are solutions that cannot dissolve any more solute. Different substances reach saturation at
different concentrations.