Liquid vs Solution
All of us are aware of liquids that that are examples of one of the three phases that matter exists in (plasma is the fourth phase). Liquids are characterized by their ability to flow and their ability to take the shape of the container in which they are placed. Water is the best example of liquids and also of solutions that is a sub category of liquids. A solution is formed when something is added or dissolved in a liquid. You make a solution when you add salt or sugar to a glass of water. Are you aware of the differences between a liquid and a solution that appear similar to you? Let us find out in this article.
As a long as a liquid is made up of a single substance, it remains pure and is called a liquid. When something is added to it, it becomes a solution. A solution is defined as a homogeneous mixture of substances with variable composition. When you add some sugar to water, water is in greater proportion than sugar and is called solvent while sugar which is in smaller proportion is called solute. One can add many solutes in a solution like you can add salt to the same solution of water and sugar. One can get a solution because of the property of the solutes to dissolve in water. While there are mixtures that are heterogeneous (like concrete with components not uniformly distributed throughout the mixture) solutions are homogenous as they have uniform composition and properties.
There are many other properties of solutions apart from homogeneity. Constituents of a solution do not separate on their own and pass through even fine filters unchanged. If you add some sugar to a glass of water and do not even stir water, sugar slowly dissolves in water occupying the empty intermolecular spaces in water. This process of dissolution of solutes in a solvent is similar to the process of diffusion as seen in gases.
There are many different types of solutions and if you thought that solutions contained solids in liquids only, think again. There are solutions of different liquids also in addition to solutions made up of all three, solid, liquid and gas. We are more aware of solutions of solids in liquids and liquids and liquids. But atmosphere is a very beautiful example of a solution of gases where nitrogen is the solvent while other important gases like oxygen, carbon dioxide, neon, argon etc are in traces and water vapor also mixes in.
Solutions are called concentrated or dilute depending upon the percentage of solute in them. There is another property called solubility that tells how much of solute can be dissolved in a liquid. You can go on adding salt or sugar to a glass of water but there comes a time when the solution becomes saturated and more solute cannot be added to the solution.
Difference Between Liquid and Solution
• Though a solution of a solid in a liquid or of two liquids looks just like a liquid, there are difference between a pure liquid and a solution.
• A liquid is made of single type of molecules whereas a solution is made up of two or more types of molecules
• A solution is also a type of liquid though it is not a pure liquid
• A pure liquid is a state of matter while a solution is a homogeneous mixture of substances in a liquid form
• All basic properties of a liquid (such as boiling point, melting point, vapor pressure etc) change when it becomes a solution