Unsaturated solutions are solutions in which the amount of dissolved solute is less than the saturation point of the solvent (at that specific temperature gradient). If the amount of dissolved solute is equal to the saturation point of the solvent, the solution is called a saturated solution.
To form a mixture, two or more substances must be mixed. There are various kinds of mixtures found in our surroundings such as table salt mixed in water, vinegar solution, sugar dissolved in water, etc. Based on the distribution of components, the mixtures can also be classified as heterogeneous mixtures and homogeneous mixtures. A mixture where the components are found evenly distributed within the mixture is called a homogeneous mixture.
For the formation of a solution, we need to add a solute to a solvent. Initially, the solute dissolves in a solvent and makes a uniform solution. Such a solution where solutes dissolve is called an unsaturated solution. Basically, a solution comprises two different kinds of particles, solutes and the solvent. In most cases, water is used as a solvent (which is one of the reasons why water is also called the universal solvent).
Unsaturated solutions have the ability to dissolve more solute in them until they reach the saturation point. After reaching the saturation point, solutes will no more get dissolved in the solvent and these are the unsaturated solutions. Hence, all the solutions are said to be mostly unsaturated in nature and finally get converted to a saturated solution by adding solute in them.
Unsaturated Solutions – Examples
We come across various examples of unsaturated solutions in daily life. Some examples of these are given below-
- Salt dissolved in water or even sugar dissolved in water is an unsaturated solution if the quantity of dissolved salt/sugar is below the saturation point.
- Iced coffee is one more example of the unsaturated solution. Each of the solutes possesses different solubility rules and also solutes dissolve in the solvent, those solutions will be considered as unsaturated solutions. Tea and the sugar solution is a good example of an unsaturated solution due to the reason that they dissolve more amount of sugar in them. Once such solutions reach the saturation point, they get converted to the saturated solution.
- Gaseous solutions have a gas as the solvent and the solute can either be in a solid state, liquid state or even gaseous state. Air, smoke and mist are also good examples of unsaturated gaseous solutions.
In an unsaturated solution, the concentration of solute is much lower than its solubility equilibrium. Each solute will have a limit with respect to the specific solvent. Therefore, solutes show a certain value for solubility in the solvent.