solute and solvent



We explain what the solute and the solvent are and what the role of each is. Also, several examples of these two components.

When mixed, the solute and solvent create a solution.

What are solute and solvent?

In chemistry, Solute and solvent are understood to be the two components that make up a solution, that is, the two elements whose combination produces a homogeneous mixture or dissolution.

We will call "solute" the element that dissolves in the other, that is, the substance added to form the mixture. It can be a solid, a liquid or a gas, which is generally found in lower proportions than the solvent and which, once mixed, is no longer perceptible to the naked eye, that is: it dissolves.

On the contrary, the "solvent" will be that substance that dissolves the other, or in other words, it is the substance to which we add the solute and in which the latter dissolves, it is the majority substance of the mixture.

Usually it is a liquid (to form liquid solutions) in which a solid, liquid or gas dissolves; otherwise both solute and solvent must be solid or gas at the same time.

Examples of solute

Sugar is a solute that can dissolve in water, for example.

We can list some types of solute, such as:

  • Sugar. Dissolves in coffee or Water, for example.
  • Coffee. Ground coffee is, in turn, a solute that is diluted in boiling water to obtain an infusion. The same goes for tea.
  • Salt. It is found dissolved in various amounts in the water of seas.
  • Oxygen. It is present among other gases in a homogeneous mixture in the atmosphere.
  • Acetic acid. When it dissolves in water, it forms the vinegar.
  • Carbonic gas. It is used in the food industryAs it dissolves in water, it results in carbonated water (the base of carbonated drinks).
  • Carbon. Is used to alloys iron, adding to the metal already melted and managing to obtain the steel.

Examples of solvent

Other metals are added to cast iron to obtain variants of steel.

Some simple examples of solvent are:

  • Water. For a reason it is called "the universal solvent": almost everything is capable of dissolving in water.
  • Thinner. An industrial solvent based on hydrocarbons, usually used to dilute and dissolve paintings or plastics.
  • Iron. In the case of alloys, carbon, zinc, aluminum or others are added to cast iron. metals to obtain various variants of steel.
  • Air. The air we breathe is a homogeneous mixture of gases, in which the carbon dioxide that we exhale when we breathe.
  • Blood. Various organic substances are dissolved in the blood of our body, which transports them throughout the circulatory system.
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