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Q & A: solute effects on water density

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Most recent answer: 09/15/2013
Q:
What is solute effects on water density?
- Nur (age 13)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A:

That depends on the solute. Many typical solutes, like NaCl or sucrose, raise the total mass density of the solution. However, they displace some water so that the density of the water itself in the solution is reduced. Some solutes, like ethanol, reduce the mass density of the solution and also the density of the water itself. There's an interesting batch of solutes, including MgSO4, that raise the mass density of the solution and also, surprisingly, even raise the density of the water itself, at least for low solute concentrations. 

Mike W.


(published on 09/15/2013)

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