Types of Solutions

Solutions are a part of our everyday lives. The soda you enjoy sipping, the deodorant that you put on all important occasions are all examples of solutions. Did you ever wonder how many types of solutions are actually there? Well, in this chapter, we will talk about the different types of solutions and look at what exactly these are.

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What is a Solution?

Going by the definition, a binary solution is nothing but a homogeneous mixture of two substances. These two substances or components are the solute and the solvent. The solute is the substance that gets dissolved. It is present in a smaller quantity. On the other hand, the solvent is the substance that dissolves the solute. It is present in a comparatively larger quantity.

There are different types of solutions. But, what is the basis of their differentiation?

Different Types of Solutions

Solutions are of different types, based on a number of criteria, like the difference in the solute or the solvent etc. Let us now look at the different types of solutions, based on different criteria.

On the Basis of Water as Solvent

Based on the whether the solvent is water or not, solutions are of two types.

  • Aqueous solutions: These solutions have water as the solvent. Examples of such solutions are sugar in water, carbon dioxide in water, etc.
  • Non-Aqueous Solutions:  These solutions have a solvent that is not water. It could be ether, benzene, petrol, carbon tetrachloride etc. Common examples include sulfur in carbon disulphide, naphthalene in benzene, etc.

On the Basis of the Amount of Solute Added

Based on the amount of solute present in the solution, we can classify them into the following types.

  • Unsaturated Solution: An unsaturated is one that can dissolve more solute at a definite temperature. It means that we can still add more solute to the solvent.
  • Saturated Solution: A solution is said to be saturated when we can’t add any more solute to the solvent. This means that the solution can’t dissolve any more solute at a definite temperature.
  • Supersaturated Solution: A supersaturated solution is one where the solute is present in an excess amount. This solute is dissolved forcefully by raising the temperature or pressure of the solution. These generally crystal out in the bottom by the method called crystallisation.

Types of solutions

 On the Basis of Amount of Solvent Added

  • Concentrated Solution: A concentrated solution has large amounts of solute in the given solvent. Examples include Brine solution, Orange juice, dark colour tea.
  • Dilute Solution: A dilute solution has a small amount of solute in a large amount of solvent. Examples include Salt solution, light colour tea.

You can download Solution Cheat Sheet by clicking on the download button below
Types of Solutions

On the Basis of Concentration of Solute in Two Solutions

Let us consider a cell placed in a solution in a beaker. Based on the concentration of solute in two solvents( in the cell and in the beaker), we can have the following types of solutions:

  • Isotonic Solution: These solutions have the same concentration of the solute in it. Therefore, water moves across the cell from the solution in the beaker in both directions.
  • Hypertonic Solution: The solution kept in beaker has a higher concentration of solute in it so water comes out of the cell and into the solution in beaker causing the cell to plasmolyze/shrink.
  • Hypotonic Solution: The solution kept in beaker has a lower concentration of solute in it so water moves into the cell causing cells to swell up and finally burst.


types of solutions

(Source: clker)

Learn more about How to Express Concentration of Solution here.

A Solved Example for You

Q: Give an example of a gas-solid solution.

Answer: Hydrogen gas in palladium metal is an example of a gas-solid solution.

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