Types of solutions
A solution is a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances, consisting of atoms, ions or molecules. The compound that is present in largest amount in a homogeneous mixture is called the solvent, and the others are solutes. For example, when a small amount of NaCl is dissolved in water, a homogeneous solution is obtained. In this solution, Na+ and Cl- ions are uniformly distributed in water. Here water is the solvent as the amount of water is more compared to the amount of NaCl present in this solution, and the NaCl is the solute.
The commonly used solutions are the solutions in which a solid solute is dissolved in a liquid solvent. However, solute or solvent can be in any of the three states of matter (solid, liquid, gas). If the water is used as the solvent,the resultant solution is called as an aqueous solution. If solvents (Benzene, CCl4, ether etc.,) other than water is used, then the resultant solution is called as a non-aqueous solution.
The following table illustrates the different type of solutions based on the physical state of the solute and solvent.
Table 9.1 Types and examples of solutions