What is the term used for an aqueous solution of sodium chloride?

An aqueous solution of sodium chloride is called Brine.

What is Brine?

It is a high-concentration solution of salt (NaCl) in water (H2O). In various circumstances, brine may refer to salt solutions varying from about 3.5% (a standard concentration of seawater, on the lower end of solutions used for brining foods) up to about 26% (a typical saturated solution, depending on temperature).

Alternative names

Lower levels of concentration of the solution are called by diverse names like freshwater, brackish water, and saline water.

Natural occurrence

  • Brine naturally occurs on the Earth’s surface (salt lakes), crust, and within brine pools on the ocean bottom.
  • High-concentration brine lakes typically emerge due to the evaporation of ground saline water at high ambient temperatures.

Applications

Brine has various applications. Some of the applications are listed below.

  • Used as a preservative in meat-packing (as in corned beef) and pickling.
  • In refrigeration and cooling systems, brines are used as heat-transfer media because of their low freezing temperatures or as vapour-absorption agents as it exhibits low vapour pressure.
  • It is also used to quench (cool) steel.

 

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