What are real-life examples of solubility?


Quick Answer

Real-life examples of solubility include adding sugar to hot coffee, stirring a bouillon packet into hot water and taking medications that quickly absorb into the blood stream. A negative example of solubility is the dissolving of toxic metals and chemicals into a water supply.

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Full Answer

Sugar immediately melts into hot coffee, disappearing entirely. The only way to know that it's there is by taste. If the coffee becomes saturated with large quantities of sugar, the liquid becomes gritty. At that point, the sugar is no longer soluble.

Unlike the sugar and hot coffee example, making soup out of a bouillon packet and hot water changes the appearance of the water as well as its scent. The bouillon is still soluble in the liquid, but it is so to a lesser extent. It also takes less bouillon mix to saturate the water.

An example of a soluble medication is cough syrup. Chemists infuse ingredients such as codeine or menthol into a sugar-based liquid, and the bloodstream quickly absorbs the liquid. The additives are soluble in the sugar-liquid just as the cough syrup is soluble in the blood.

Fresh water usually contains at least some soluble materials, such as lead, mercury, zinc and iron. Most are naturally occurring substances that in small doses can be beneficial. In larger quantities, they can be toxic. The advanced water treatment facilities found in most cities can remove most, if not all of these harmful substances.

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