Which Best Describes the Dissolving Process?

What is Dissolution? What are the Different Types of Solutes? What happens when something Dissolves? Why do Solutes dissolve Fast in Hot Solvents? What are Non-Polar Solutes? Is Melting and Dissolving the Same Process?
which best describes the dissolving process
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According to Walter, a researcher, chemistry was invented about four thousand years ago by ancient Egyptians when they mixed and formed new chemicals to treat eye diseases. However, dissolving things seems an easy process but do you know what happens when something dissolves? Well, today we are going to talk about the process which best describes the dissolving process and what is true about the dissolving process in water.

1. Is the Dissolution Process the one Which best describes the Dissolving Process?

Yes. When a solute is dissolved in a solvent to form a solution, this process is known as the dissolution process. (See What are Examples of Suspension?)

2. What is Solubility?

The maximum amount of a particle that can dissolve in a solvent at a given temperature is termed its solubility. For example, 200 ml of water at room temperature can dissolve 3 tablespoons of salt. This is the solubility of 200 ml of water.

3. What are Solution, Solute and Solvent?

Besides answering which best describes the dissolving process, let me give you some details about the solution and mixture. The homogenous mixture of two or more substances is termed a solution. The item in which things are being dissolved is known as a solvent while the thing that is being dissolved is known as a solute. For example, in a saltwater solution, salt is the solvent and water is the solute. A solute can be in any form including solid, liquid, or gas. (See Is Air an Element, Compound, or Mixture?)

4. What are the Different Types of Solutes?

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There are 3 types of solutes, namely covalent, ionic, and molecular. Read on to understand which best describes the dissolving process.

  • Covalent: These solutes have the capability to dissolve as individual molecules. They do not dissociate (split) in the solution. Thus, they are also known as non-electrolytes. For example, table sugar.
  • Ionic: When these solutes are added to the solvent, the individual molecules of the solute are surrounded by the molecules of the solvent through a process known as dissociation. They are capable of conducting electricity and are called electrolytes. For example, table salt (strong electrolyte) and acetic acid (weak electrolyte). 
  • Molecular: These solutes tend to separate from each other as soon as they are added to the solvent. Then, they get surrounded by the solvent molecules and soon dissolve in them. (See What are the Characteristics of an Element?)

5. What is meant by Like Dissolves Like?

It is an old saying from chemistry that means both solute and solvent must have the same intermolecular spaces and forces to form a solution. For example, oil and water cannot be mixed and turned into a solution. It’s because both the elements have different intermolecular forces and densities, which prohibits them from mixing together. (See How are Elements and Compounds Similar and Different?)

6. What happens When Something dissolves?

The process of dissolving begins when you add a solute into the solvent or vice versa. Let me tell you step-by-step how things work while the solution is made and you will get to know which best describes the dissolving process.

Step 1 – The solute and solvent are introduced to each other.

Step 2 – The molecules of both solute and solvent start interacting. At this stage, the molecules of the solid are separated from one another.

Step 3 – The interaction causes the solute molecules to move away from each other. This enlarges the intermolecular spaces among them. The solute (solid) molecules are now interacting more with the surrounding solvent (liquid) molecules.

Step 4 – A single separated solute molecule interacts with more than one solvent molecule. This stage involves random molecular motions. 

Step 5 – The solvent molecules surround the molecules of the solute by occupying the intermolecular spaces. This stage is known as salvation.

Step 6 – The random molecular motion keeps on separating the solute molecules from one another continuously. This is the stage when the dissolving process speeds up. Also, check out What are Properties in Science?

7. What is known as Hydration?

When the solution involves water as solute and any other material as a solvent, it is termed hydration. For example, making gypsum or concrete involves using water as a mixing agent but not a solvent. (See: 38 Different Types of Salt You Didn’t Know Existed)

8. Why does a Solute dissolve Better in a Hot Solvent?

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This is because of the presence of kinetic energy in the hot solvents. It increases the random molecular motions among the molecules of solute. This ultimately increases the speed of the dissolving process. As we are on this topic which best describes the dissolving process, let me give an example, you dissolve sugar in a glass of water at room temperature. And make another solution by dissolving sugar in hot liquid (boiling). Also, check out Condensation Examples in Real Life.

9. What is a Miscible and Immiscible Solution?

A solution in which two liquids are completely dissolved is termed a miscible solution. The liquids with the property to mix with other liquids in all proportions are termed miscible. For example, water and ethanol are miscible.

Take a look at another term that best describes the dissolving process. When two liquids cannot dissolve in each other at any proportion are known as immiscible and the incomplete solution obtained from them is known as an immiscible solution. For example, water and oil. Must read What are Examples of Elements in Everyday Life?

10. What is a Saturated Solution?

When the solute is added to the maximum level in a solvent at a given temperature, such a solution is known as a saturated solution. For example, when you add 4 tablespoons of sugar to 200 ml of water and the water cannot take and dissolve any more sugar. (See What are the Properties of Mixtures?)

11. What are Supersaturated and Unsaturated Solutions?

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A solution in which the solute is less than the maximum amount the solvent can take is known as an unsaturated solution. For example, mixing only 2 tablespoons of sugar in 200 ml of water.

Solutions that have a concentration of the solute more than the saturated solutions are known as supersaturated solutions. For example, add 5 tablespoons of sugar to 200 ml of water. (See 5 Fun Kitchen Science Experiments)

12. What is True about the Dissolving Process in Water?

Water is known as the universal solvent, as per the United States Geological Survey. However, there are some facts related to it, let us find them. The truth behind the dissolving process in water is that non-polar solutes can dissolve easily in water. The molecules of solute spread across the water molecules and surround them. It changes the molecular composition of water. Another interesting fact that best describes the dissolving process is the truth wherein the polar solutes are not easily soluble in water. (See What type of Ions have Name ending in -ide?)

13. What are Non-Polar Solutes?

Molecular bonds of similar strength need to be broken to initiate the dissolution process. Non-polar solutes tend to dissolve non-polar solvents while ionic and polar solutes are soluble with polar solvents. Non-polar molecules are known as hydrophobic. (See Why do atoms form chemical bonds?)

14. Is Melting and Dissolving Similar?

No, both are different processes because they include different states of matter. Melting means the conversion of ice into water, which is changing it from a solid state to a liquid state. Melting takes place at the melting point of ice. But dissolving is to mix some solid molecules into the liquid molecule at a given temperature to mix the solid into a liquid.

So, which best describes the dissolving process includes a number of different terms. What happens when something dissolves becomes clearer for us. And also, what is the truth about the dissolving process in water, that could be so simple, who would have known? (Also read What happens When Water Boils?)

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