What are solute and solvent?

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

  1. What are solute and solvent?

In chemistry , solute and solvent are understood as the two components that make up a solution , that is, the two elements whose union produces a homogeneous mixture or solution.

Thus, we will call solute the element that dissolves in the other , that is, the substance added to form the mixture . This may be a solid , a liquid or a gas , which is generally found in smaller proportions than the solvent and which, once mixed, ceases to be noticeable to the naked eye, that is: it dissolves.

On the contrary, the solvent will be that substance that receives the other , or in other words, is the substance to which we add the solute and in which the latter dissolves.

It is usually a liquid (to form liquid solutions) that receives a solid, liquid or gas; otherwise, both solute and solvent must be both solid or gas. The solvent, finally, is the majority substance in the mixture.

  1. Examples of solute

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

We can list some types of solute, such as:

  • Sugar . It 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.
  • Sal . It is dissolved in various quantities in the water of the seas.
  • Oxygen . Present among other gases in a homogeneous mixture in the atmosphere.
  • Acetic acid . This substance, when dissolved in water, forms vinegar.
  • Carbon dioxide . Used in the food industry, because when dissolved in water, it results in carbonated water (base of soft drinks).
  • Carbon . Used for iron alloys, carbon is added to the molten metal and the steel is thus obtained.
  1. Examples of solvent

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

Some simple examples of solvent are:

  • Water . For something it is called “the universal solvent”: almost everything is susceptible to dissolve in water.
  • Thinner . An industrial solvent based on hydrocarbons, usually used to dilute and dissolve paints or plastics.
  • Iron . In the case, again, of the alloys, carbon, zinc, aluminum or other metals are added to the cast iron to obtain various variants of the steel.
  • Air . The air we breathe is a homogeneous mixture of gases, in which the carbon dioxide we exhale while breathing can dissolve perfectly.
  • Blood . Various organic substances are dissolved in the blood of our body, which transports them throughout the circulatory system.

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