In chemistry, after studying solutions and properties of solution, one can understand that a solution can reach a status of saturation. This state is when the solution has reached a point in which no more solute can be added. Addition of solute after this point would result in a solid precipitate or a gas being released. Such a mixture is called as saturated solution. A saturated solution is prepared by continuously adding solute to the solution until a stage is reached where the solute appears as a solid precipitate or as crystals to form a highly saturated solution.
Factors affecting the point of saturation:
- With increase in temperature the solubility of ionic solutions increases, except mixtures which are made up of compounds containing anions.
- Solutes which are finely divided possess greater solubility.
- The rate of crystallization is dependent upon the amount of solute at the crystal surface.
- The solution is said to be saturated if the rate of crystallization and rate of solubility are same.
- The net dissolving rate can be increased by stirring the solution which prevents the build up of solute.
- The response of the equilibrium system is predicted using Le Chatelier’s principle which depends upon the change in pressure, concentration or temperature.
Examples of saturated solution:
- Beverages are one of the most widely used and loved saturated solutions. In these drinks, water is a solvent and carbon is bombarded as a solute until the point of saturation is reached.
- In the kitchen many cooking recipes involves dissolving of salt, sugar and other household ingredients into water. This procedure is temperature dependent. As the temperature of water increases the solubility of the solute increases. After the point of saturation is reached the solute forms a visible layer on top of the solvent.
- Soil present on the earth surface can also be called as a saturated mixture which consists of nitrogen. Once the saturation point is reached; the excess nitrogen is let out into the air in the form of gas.
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