Science Help

Solutes and Solvents

Solute:- It is that component of the solution, which is present in the smaller amount by weight in the solution.

Solvent:- It is that component of the solution, which is present in the larger amount by weight in the solution.A solvent may be a liquid, solid, or gaseous substance that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent.

For e.g. In the figure shown below, some sugar is added in the water .So, solute is sugar and solvent is water here.


Solute and Solvent are described with examples in the following sections.


Solvents can be broadly classified into two categories:

1).  polar solvent:-Solventswith a dielectric constant of greater than 15 are generally considered to be polar.Solvents with a dielectric constant greater than 15 can be further divided into protic and aprotic

1.a). Protic solvents solvate anions (-ve charged solutes) strongly via H-Bonding. Water is a protic solvent.

1.b). Aprotic solvents tendto have large dipole moments (separation of partial positive and partial negative charges within the same molecule) and solvate +vely charged species via their -ve dipole.

2). non-polar solvent:-Solvents with a dielectric constant of lesser than 15 are considered to be polar.

Properties table of common solvents is shown below :-

SolventChemical formulaBoiling pointDielectric constantDensityDipole moment
Non-polar solvents
PentaneCH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH336 °C1.840.626 g/ml0.00 D
CyclopentaneC5H1040 °C1.970.751 g/ml0.00 D
HexaneCH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH369 °C1.880.655 g/ml0.00 D
CyclohexaneC6H1281 °C2.020.779 g/ml0.00 D
BenzeneC6H680 °C2.30.879 g/ml0.00 D
TolueneC6H5-CH3111 °C2.380.867 g/ml0.36 D
1,4-Dioxane/-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2-O-\101 °C2.31.033 g/ml0.45 D
ChloroformCHCl361 °C4.811.498 g/ml1.04 D
Diethyl etherCH3CH2-O-CH2-CH335 °C4.30.713 g/ml1.15 D
Polar aprotic solvents
Dichloromethane (DCM)CH2Cl240 °C9.11.3266 g/ml1.60 D
Tetrahydrofuran (THF)/-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2-\66 °C7.50.886 g/ml1.75 D
Ethyl acetateCH3-C(=O)-O-CH2-CH377 °C6.020.894 g/ml1.78 D
AcetoneCH3-C(=O)-CH356 °C210.786 g/ml2.88 D
Dimethylformamide (DMF)H-C(=O)N(CH3)2153 °C380.944 g/ml3.82 D
Acetonitrile (MeCN)CH3-C≡N82 °C37.50.786 g/ml3.92 D
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)CH3-S(=O)-CH3189 °C46.71.092 g/ml3.96 D
Polar protic solvents
Formic acidH-C(=O)OH101 °C581.21 g/ml1.41 D
n-ButanolCH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-OH118 °C180.810 g/ml1.63 D
Isopropanol (IPA)CH3-CH(-OH)-CH382 °C180.785 g/ml1.66 D
n-PropanolCH3-CH2-CH2-OH97 °C200.803 g/ml1.68 D
EthanolCH3-CH2-OH79 °C300.789 g/ml1.69 D
MethanolCH3-OH65 °C330.791 g/ml1.70 D
Acetic acidCH3-C(=O)OH118 °C6.21.049 g/ml1.74 D
WaterH-O-H100 °C801.000 g/ml1.85 D


Solute can be broadly classified in three categories:-

1). Solid 

2). Liquid 

3). Gaseous 

Formation of solution

 Solution is a Homogeneous mixture which is composed of two or more substances (a solute is dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent).