In a solution, the solvent is generally a liquid, which can be a pure substance or a mixture. The species that dissolves, the solute, can be a gas, another liquid, or a solid. Solubilities range widely, from infinitely soluble such as ethanol in water, to poorly soluble, such as silver chloride in water. The term insoluble is often applied to poorly soluble compounds, although in some cases insolubility means that a compound is very poorly soluble.
The solubility equilibrium is relatively straightforward for covalent substances such as benzene. When dissolved in water, the benzene molecules remain intact but interact with and are generally surrounded by molecules of water. When, however, an ionic compound such as sodium chloride (NaCl) dissolves in water, the sodium chloride lattice dissociates into individual ions that are solvated or surrounded by water molecules. Nonetheless, NaCl is said to dissolve in water, because evaporation of the solvent returns crystalline NaCl.
When a solute dissolves, it may form several species in the solution. For example, an aqueous suspension of ferrous hydroxide, , will contain the series (2−x)+ as well as other oligomeric species. Furthermore, the solubility of ferrous hydroxide and the composition of its soluble components depends on pH. In general, solubility in the solvent phase can be given only for a specific solute which is thermodynamically stable, and the value of the solubility will include all the species in the solution (in the example above, all the iron-containing complexes).
The solubility of one substance dissolving in another is determined by the balance of intermolecular forces between the solvent and solute, and the entropy change that accompanies the solvation. Factors such as temperature and pressure will alter this balance, thus changing the solubility.
Solubility may also strongly depend on the presence of other species dissolved in the solvent, for example, complex-forming anions (ligands) in liquids. Solubility will also depend on the excess or deficiency of a common ion in the solution, a phenomenon known as the common-ion effect. To a lesser extent, solubility will depend on the ionic strength of liquid solutions. The last two effects can be quantified using the equation for solubility equilibrium.
Solubility (metastable) also depends on the physical size of the crystal or droplet of solute (or, strictly speaking, on the specific or molar surface area of the solute). For quantification, see the equation in the article on solubility equilibrium. For highly defective crystals, solubility may increase with the increasing degree of disorder. Both of these effects occur because of the dependence of solubility constant on the Gibbs energy of the crystal. The last two effects, although often difficult to measure, are of practical importance. For example, they provide the driving force for precipitate aging (the crystal size spontaneously increasing with time).
The solubility of a given solute in a given solvent typically depends on temperature. For around 95% of solids, the solubility increases with temperature from ambient to 100 °C. In liquid water at high temperatures, (e.g., that approaching the critical temperature), the solubility of ionic solutes tends to decrease due to the change of properties and structure of liquid water; the lower dielectric constant results in a less polar solvent.
Gaseous solutes exhibit more complex behavior with temperature. As the temperature is raised, gases usually become less soluble in water, but more soluble in organic solvents.
The chart shows solubility curves for some typical solid inorganic salts. Many salts behave like barium nitrate and disodium hydrogen arsenate, and show a large increase in solubility with temperature. Some solutes (e.g. NaCl in water) exhibit solubility which is fairly independent of temperature. A few, such as cerium(III) sulfate, become less soluble in water as temperature increases. This is sometimes referred to as "retrograde" or "inverse" solubility. Occasionally, a more complex pattern is observed, as with sodium sulfate, where the less soluble decahydrate crystal loses water of crystallization at 32 °C to form a more soluble anhydrous phase.
The solubility of organic compounds nearly always increases with temperature. The technique of recrystallization, used for purification of solids, depends on a solute's different solubilities in hot and cold solvent. A few exceptions exist, such as certain cyclodextrins.
where the index i iterates the components, Ni is the mole fraction of the ith component in the solution, P is the pressure, the index T refers to constant temperature, Vi,aq is the partial molar volume of the ith component in the solution, Vi,cr is the partial molar volume of the ith component in the dissolving solid, and R is the universal gas constant.
Liquid solubilities also generally follow this rule. Lipophilic plant oils, such as olive oil and palm oil, dissolve in non-polar solvents such as alkanes, but are less soluble in polar liquids such as water.
Synthetic chemists often exploit differences in solubilities to separate and purify compounds from reaction mixtures, using the technique of liquid-liquid extraction.
The rate of dissolution and solubility should not be confused as they are different concepts, kinetic and thermodynamic, respectively.
Solubility constants are used to describe saturated solutions of ionic compounds of relatively low solubility (see solubility equilibrium). The solubility constant is a special case of an equilibrium constant. It describes the balance between dissolved ions from the salt and undissolved salt. The solubility constant is also "applicable" (i.e. useful) to precipitation, the reverse of the dissolving reaction. As with other equilibrium constants, temperature can affect the numerical value of solubility constant. The solubility constant is not as simple as solubility, however the value of this constant is generally independent of the presence of other species in the solvent.
The Flory-Huggins solution theory is a theoretical model describing the solubility of polymers. The Hansen Solubility Parameters and the Hildebrand solubility parameters are empirical methods for the prediction of solubility. It is also possible to predict solubility from other physical constants such as the enthalpy of fusion.
The partition coefficient (Log P) is a measure of differential solubility of a compound in a hydrophobic solvent (octanol) and a hydrophilic solvent (water). The logarithm of these two values enables compounds to be ranked in terms of hydrophilicity (or hydrophobicity).
Solubility is often said to be one of the "characteristic properties of a substance," which means that solubility is commonly used to describe the substance, to indicate a substance's polarity, to help to distinguish it from other substances, and as a guide to applications of the substance. For example, indigo is described as "insoluble in water, alcohol, or ether but soluble in chloroform, nitrobenzene, or concentrated sulfuric acid".
Solubility of a substance is useful when separating mixtures. For example, a mixture of salt (sodium chloride) and silica may be separated by dissolving the salt in water, and filtering off the undissolved silica. The synthesis of chemical compounds, by the milligram in a laboratory, or by the ton in industry, both make use of the relative solubilities of the desired product, as well as unreacted starting materials, byproducts, and side products to achieve separation.
Another example of this is the synthesis of benzoic acid from phenylmagnesium bromide and dry ice. Benzoic acid is more soluble in an organic solvent such as dichloromethane or diethyl ether, and when shaken with this organic solvent in a separatory funnel, will preferentially dissolve in the organic layer. The other reaction products, including the magnesium bromide, will remain in the aqueous layer, clearly showing that separation based on solubility is achieved. This process, known as liquid-liquid extraction, is an important technique in synthetic chemistry.
However, there is a limit to how much salt can be dissolved in a given volume of water. This amount is given by the solubility product, Ksp. This value depends on the type of salt (AgCl vs. NaI, for example), temperature, and the common ion effect.
One can calculate the amount of AgCl that will dissolve in 1 liter of water, some algebra is required.
The result: 1 liter of water can dissolve 1.34 × 10−5 moles of AgCl(s) at room temperature. Compared with other types of salts, AgCl is poorly soluble in water. In contrast, table salt (NaCl) has a higher Ksp and is, therefore, more soluble.
|Group I and NH4+ compounds||carbonates (except Group I, NH4+ and uranyl compounds)|
|nitrates||sulfites (except Group I and NH4+ compounds)|
|acetates (ethanoates) (except Ag+ compounds)||phosphates (except Group I and NH4+ compounds)|
|chlorides, bromides and iodides (except Ag+, Pb2+, Cu+ and Hg22+)||hydroxides and oxides (except Group I, NH4+, Ba2+, Sr2+ and Tl+)|
|sulfates (except Ag+, Pb2+, Ba2+, Sr2+ and Ca2+)||sulfides (except Group I, Group II and NH4+ compounds)|
In this case, the solubility of albite is expected to depend on the solid-to-solvent ratio. This kind of solubility is of great importance in geology, where it results in formation of metamorphic rocks.
Solubilities of [H.sub.2] in [H.sub.2]O and [D.sub.2] in [D.sub.2]O with dissolved boric acid and lithium hydroxide.
Jan 01, 2006; Introduction Light and heavy water are used as moderators and heat transport media in nuclear power reactors and may contain...
Solubility of Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC-134a, HFC-152a) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC-142b) Blowing Agents in Polystyrene.
Jun 01, 2000; HIROKATSU MASUOKA Solubilities of blowing agents (HFC-134a, HCFC-142b, and HFC-152a) in polystyrene (PS) were measured at...
Solubility phenomena involving CaS[O.sub.4] in hydrometallurgical processes concerning heavy metals.(Report)
May 01, 2011; INTRODUCTION The abundance of calcium, with 4-5 % in mass, ranks fifth among all elements in the earth's crust, several thousands...