What is a Solvent and Solute?
Solvents are chemical compounds (a compound where elements are joined by chemical bonds) that are used to dissolve other compounds. Solvents can be used for extraction of different materials from other media, and purifying substances by recrystallization. One of the most important solvents our there is water. This is because water can dissolve both inorganic compounds or organic substances. A liquid must be able to dissolve another substance without having a reaction to be a good solvent. It also must dissolve easily. A solute is a particle that is being dissolved. The is the substance that the solute is being dissolved in.


One example of solvents and solutes is sugar water. Sugar would be the solute because it is the particle that is being dissolved. The sugar is being dissolved in the water which would be the solvent. Telling the difference between a Solvent and Solute is not always as easy as the example of sugar water. When two liquids are mixed together the most plentiful ingredient will be the solvent. The less abundant one would be the solute.


Solutes and Solvents.
Audio Visual Inc., 1996. Video Segment.
10 February 2011. <http://www.discoveryeducation.com/>.

Zieger, Herman E. "Solvent." Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Grolier Online, 2011. Web. 2
Feb. 2011.

"Liquids and Solutions." The New Book of Popular Science. Grolier Online, 2011. Web. 2 Feb. 2011. (Picture located in slide show to the right)