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Solutes and Solvents

Solute : It is that component of the solution, which is present in the smaller amount by weight in the solution.

Solvent : It is that component of the solution, which is present in the larger amount by weight in the solution. A solvent may be a liquid, solid, or gaseous substance that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent.

For e.g. In the figure shown below, some sugar is added in the water .So, solute is sugar and solvent is water here.


Solute and Solvent are described with examples in the following sections.


Solvents can be broadly classified into two categories:

Polar solvent :

Solvents with a dielectric constant of greater than 15 are generally considered to be polar.Solvents with a dielectric constant greater than 15 can be further divided into protic and aprotic

  1. Protic solvents solvate anions (-ve charged solutes) strongly via H-Bonding. Water is a protic solvent.
  2. Aprotic solvents tend to have large dipole moments (separation of partial positive and partial negative charges within the same molecule) and solvate +vely charged species via their -ve dipole.

Non-polar solvent :

Solvents with a dielectric constant of lesser than 15 are considered to be polar.

Related Calculators
Calculate the Molality of the Solution Equation Solution Calculator
Ionic Strength of a Solution Mole Fraction of a Solution

Solute Solvent Solution

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Properties table of common solvents is shown below.

Solvent Chemical formula Boiling point Dielectric constant Density Dipole moment
Non-polar solvents
Pentane CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH3 36 °C 1.84 0.626 g/ml 0.00 D
Cyclopentane C5H10 40 °C 1.97 0.751 g/ml 0.00 D
Hexane CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH3 69 °C 1.88 0.655 g/ml 0.00 D
Cyclohexane C6H12 81 °C 2.02 0.779 g/ml 0.00 D
Benzene C6H6 80 °C 2.3 0.879 g/ml 0.00 D
Toluene C6H5-CH3 111 °C 2.38 0.867 g/ml 0.36 D
1,4-Dioxane /-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2-O-\ 101 °C 2.3 1.033 g/ml 0.45 D
Chloroform CHCl3 61 °C 4.81 1.498 g/ml 1.04 D
Diethyl ether CH3CH2-O-CH2-CH3 35 °C 4.3 0.713 g/ml 1.15 D
Polar aprotic solvents
Dichloromethane (DCM) CH2Cl2 40 °C 9.1 1.3266 g/ml 1.60 D
Tetrahydrofuran (THF) /-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2-\ 66 °C 7.5 0.886 g/ml 1.75 D
Ethyl acetate CH3-C(=O)-O-CH2-CH3 77 °C 6.02 0.894 g/ml 1.78 D
Acetone CH3-C(=O)-CH3 56 °C 21 0.786 g/ml 2.88 D
Dimethylformamide (DMF) H-C(=O)N(CH3)2 153 °C 38 0.944 g/ml 3.82 D
Acetonitrile (MeCN) CH3-CN 82 °C 37.5 0.786 g/ml 3.92 D
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) CH3-S(=O)-CH3 189 °C 46.7 1.092 g/ml 3.96 D
Polar protic solvents
Formic acid H-C(=O)OH 101 °C 58 1.21 g/ml 1.41 D
n-Butanol CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-OH 118 °C 18 0.810 g/ml 1.63 D
Isopropanol (IPA) CH3-CH(-OH)-CH3 82 °C 18 0.785 g/ml 1.66 D
n-Propanol CH3-CH2-CH2-OH 97 °C 20 0.803 g/ml 1.68 D
Ethanol CH3-CH2-OH 79 °C 30 0.789 g/ml 1.69 D
Methanol CH3-OH 65 °C 33 0.791 g/ml 1.70 D
Acetic acid CH3-C(=O)OH 118 °C 6.2 1.049 g/ml 1.74 D
Water H-O-H 100 °C 80 1.000 g/ml 1.85 D


Solute can be broadly classified in three categories.

  1. Solid 
  2. Liquid 
  3. Gaseous 

Formation of Solution

olution is a Homogeneous mixture which is composed of two or more substances (a solute is dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent). The homogeneous mixture examples are given below.

Formation of Solution

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