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What are nonpolar solutes?

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Quick Answer

A nonpolar solute is a substance that has no dipole elements and is dissolved in a solution. Many of these solutes are organic chemicals dissolved in organic liquids. Solutions follow the rule of like dissolves like, so nonpolar solutes are difficult to dissolve in polar solvents, such as water.

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Full Answer

In chemistry, solutions made for quantitative analysis require precise measurements. The chemist often uses volumetric flasks designed to contain an exact volume of a solution. He weighs the solid solute using precise balances to ensure he knows the amount of the material added to the flask. The preparer transfers all the material from the container in which it was weighed to the flask. The scientist rinses the container using the solvent and ensures all the material transfers to the flask. Once the solute is dissolved, the preparer dilutes the solution further by adding solvent to bring the meniscus of the solution to the mark on the flask. He then mixes the solution carefully, ensuring it is at the desired concentration. Some solutes are difficult to weigh due to the fact that they are hygroscopic. In these cases, a solution is prepared, and the scientist tests the resulting solution to determine its concentration.

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