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What does "solvent" mean in science?

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Quick Answer

A solvent is the prominent component of a homogenous mixture or solution made of two combined materials. A solution is made when a lesser amount of material called a solute is dissolved into the solvent.

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What does "solvent" mean in science?
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Full Answer

Solvents may be made of liquids, solids or gases. They typically form the bulk of the solution. A solution can only be comprised of a certain amount of materials before the solutes can no longer dissolve and begin to separate from the solvent. The solution becomes saturated when the maximum amount of solutes have been dissolved into the solvent. Solutes comprised of smaller particles dissolve more easily into solvents.

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