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The equation used for questions pertaining to concentration and/or volume is:
C1V1 = C2V2
C is the concentration of a solution in mol/L and V is the total volume of a solution in L. The designation of C1 or C2 and V1 or V2 doesn’t matter as long as the values chosen for the same subscript correspond to the same solution. _______________________________________________________________________ Example: You add 50 mL of water to a glass containing 200 mL of a table salt solution of concentration 2 mol/L. What is the concentration of salt in the glass? Solution: We start by writing down the values we have and those we are looking for. Since both 2 mol/L concentration and 200mL volume correspond to the original salt solution, we will designate these C1 and V1 respectively. Remember, we need to convert mL volumes into L so that our units are the same as those in our concentration (mol/L). C1 = 2 mol/L V1 = 0.2 L (= 200 mL)
We find the final volume of the solution by adding the volume of the original solution to the volume of water (50mL). V2 = 0.25 L (200 mL + 50 mL = 250 mL) We are looking for the concentration of the salt solution. C2 = ? To find C2, we substitute the values we have into C1V1 = C2V2 and solve for C2.
(2mol / L) (0.2L) C2 (0.25L)
(2 mol / L) (0.2 L) C2 0.25 L
C2 = 1.6 mol/L Therefore, the concentration of salt in the glass is 1.6 mol/L.
_______________________________________________________________________ Example: How would you make a 750 mL solution of 1.2 mol/L salt (NaCl) from a stock of concentration 5.0 mol/L? Solution: Again, this is a question pertaining to concentrations so we use the equation:
C1V1 = C2V2
In this case, we’ll set C2 to 1.2 mol/L and V2 to 750 mL because they are the volume and concentration we want to have in our final solution. Again we have to make sure that we convert the volume, given in mL, into L. C2 = 1.2 mol/L V2 = 0.75 L (= 750 mL)
We’ll set C1 to 5.0 mol/L because that is the concentration of the stock solution we will start with. C1 = 5.0 mol/L The question is asking us what volume of the original stock solution we will need to combine with water to get the concentration we want, so we’ll set our unknown to be V1. V1 = ? We need to substitute these values into C1V1 = C2V2 and solve for V1.
(1.2 mol / L) (0.75 L) (5.0 mol / L) V1
(1.2 mol / L) (0.75 L) V1 5.0 mol / L
V1 = 0.18 L Therefore, 0.18 L of stock solution is needed. Now we need to calculate how much water it takes to dilute the 0.18 L of stock. We know the total volume we want and the volume of stock we will add, so we subtract to get the volume of water: 0.75 L total – 0.18 L stock = 0.57 L water Therefore, to make a 750 mL solution of 1.2 mol/L salt, we would add 0.18 L of stock solution to 0.57 L of water.