Solutions of Solids in Liquids

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This shows a graph of the solubility of sugar C subscript 12 H subscript 22 O subscript 11, K N O subscript 3, N a N O subscript 3, N a B r, K B r, N a subscript 2 S O subscript 4, K C l, and C e subscript 2 left parenthesis S O subscript 4 right parenthesis subscript 3 in g solute per 100 g H subscript 2 O at temperatures ranging from 0 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees Celsius. At 0 degrees Celsius, solubilities are approximately 180 for sugar C subscript 12 H subscript 22 O subscript 11, 115 for K N O subscript 3, 75 for N a N O subscript 3, 115 for N a B r, 55 for K B r, 7 for N a subscript 2 S O subscript 4, 25 for K C l, and 20 for C e subscript 2 left parenthesis S O subscript 4 right parenthesis subscript 3. At 0 degrees Celsius, solubilities are approximately 180 for sugar C subscript 12 H subscript 22 O subscript 11, 115 for K N O subscript 3, 75 for N a N O subscript 3, 115 for N a B r, 55 for K B r, 7 for N a subscript 2 S O subscript 4, 25 for K C l, and 20 for C e subscript 2 left parenthesis S O subscript 4 right parenthesis subscript 3. At 100 degrees Celsius, sugar C subscript 12 H subscript 22 O subscript 11 has exceeded the upper limit of solubility indicated on the graph, 240 for K N O subscript 3, 178 for N a N O subscript 3, 123 for N a B r, 105 for K B r, 52 for N a subscript 2 S O subscript 4, 58 for K C l, and the graph for C e subscript 2 left parenthesis S O subscript 4 right parenthesis subscript 3 stops at about 92 degrees Celsius where the solubility is nearly zero. The graph for N a subscript 2 S O subscript 4 is shown in red. All others substances are shown in blue. The solubility of this substance increases until about 30 degrees Celsius and declines beyond that point with increasing temperature.
Figure 1. This graph shows how the solubility of several solids changes with temperature. Source: OpenStax Chemistry 2e

Solutions of Solids in Liquids (OpenStax Chemistry 2e)

The dependence of solubility on temperature for a number of solids in water is shown by the solubility curves in Figure 1. Reviewing these data indicates a general trend of increasing solubility with temperature, although there are exceptions, as illustrated by the ionic compound cerium sulfate.

The temperature dependence of solubility can be exploited to prepare supersaturated solutions of certain compounds. A solution may be saturated with the compound at an elevated temperature (where the solute is more soluble) and subsequently cooled to a lower temperature without precipitating the solute. The resultant solution contains solute at a concentration greater than its equilibrium solubility at the lower temperature (i.e., it is supersaturated) and is relatively stable. Precipitation of the excess solute can be initiated by adding a seed crystal (see the video in the Link to Learning earlier in this module) or by mechanically agitating the solution. Some hand warmers, such as the one pictured in Figure 2, take advantage of this behavior.

Three photos of hand warmers are shown side by side with an arrow pointing from the first photo to the second, and another arrow pointing from the second photo to the third. The first packet contains a clear colorless liquid and a small metal disc can be seen. In the second packet, the disc can’t be seen and a dispersion of white liquid is beginning. In the third packet, all of the liquid is white.
Figure 2. This hand warmer produces heat when the sodium acetate in a supersaturated solution precipitates. Precipitation of the solute is initiated by a mechanical shockwave generated when the flexible metal disk within the solution is “clicked.” (credit: modification of work by “Velela”/Wikimedia Commons)

Source:

Flowers, P., Theopold, K., Langley, R., & Robinson, W. R. (2019, February 14). Chemistry 2e. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at: https://openstax.org/books/chemistry-2e

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