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Biology > Difference Between in Biology > Difference between Solute and Solvent  
Difference Between in Biology

Difference between Solute and Solvent  

The basic difference between solute and solvent is that the former dissolves and the later is a dissolving medium. The main difference between solute and solvent is that a solute is a substance that is added to a solvent to form a solution. A solvent is a substance that dissolves the solute particles during the formation of a solution. Let us now understand more about the difference between solute and solvent by studying in detail.

What is Solute?

A solute is a substance that can be dissolved by a solvent to create a solution. A solute can come in many forms. It can be gas, liquid, or solid. The solvent, or substance that dissolves the solute, breaks the solute apart and distributes the solute molecules equally. This creates a homogenous mixture.

What is Solvent?

A material in which solute dissolves, resulting in a solution is a solvent. We always find solvent as a liquid but it can also be a solid, a gas, or a supercritical fluid.

Difference between Solute and Solvent

Difference between Solute and Solvent  

The important difference between solute and solvent

Parameter Solute Solvent
Meaning A substance that gets dissolved. It is a dissolving medium.
Boiling point Higher than solvent Lower than solute
Dependability Solubility depends on the properties of the solute. Solubility depends on the properties of the solvent.
Physical state Found in solid, liquid, or gaseous state. Found mainly in the liquid state, but can be gaseous as well.

Solute

We define solute as a substance that is dissolved in a solvent. A solute is a component of a solvent which, upon getting dissolved, changes its form and loses its original characteristics. A solute is usually in smaller amounts in the solvent. A common example of solute is salt and water. Salt dissolves in water and therefore, salt is the solute.

Solvent

The solvent is a liquid, in which other materials dissolve to form a solution. Now  Polar solvents like water, favor the formation of ions while nonpolar ones like hydrocarbons do not. Solvents may be acidic, basic, amphoteric (both), or aprotic (neither).

Types of Solvents:

  1. Hydrocarbon solvents
  2. Oxygenated solvents
  3. Halogenated solvents

FAQs about Solute and Solvent:

Q.1. What is the overall effect of adding a solute to a solution?

Ans- Three most common effects:

1. Lower vapor pressure above the solution of the solvent in solution, relative to that of the solvent by itself.

2. The higher boiling point of the solution relative to that of the pure solvent.

3. The lower freezing point of the solution relative to that of the pure solvent.

Q.2. Why water is a good solvent?

Ans- Due to its polarity and ability to form hydrogen bonds, water makes an excellent solvent, meaning that it can dissolve many different kinds of molecules.

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