Solubility

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Solubility is the property of a solid, liquid, or gaseous chemical substance called solute to dissolve in a liquid solvent to form a homogeneous solution of the solute in the solvent. The solubility of a substance fundamentally depends on the used solvent as well as on temperature and pressure. The extent of the solubility of a substance in a specific solvent is measured as the saturation concentration where adding more solute does not increase the concentration of the solution.

The solvent is generally a liquid, which can be a pure substance or a mixture.[1] One also speaks of solid solution, but rarely of solution in a gas (see vapor-liquid equilibrium instead).

The extent of solubility ranges widely, from infinitely soluble (fully miscible[2] ) such as ethanol in water, to poorly soluble, such as silver chloride in water. The term insoluble is often applied to poorly or very poorly soluble compounds.

Under certain conditions the equilibrium solubility can be exceeded to give a so-called supersaturated solution, which is metastable.[3]

Solubility is not to be confused with the ability to dissolve or liquefy a substance, because they might occur not only because of dissolution but also because of a chemical reaction. For example, zinc is insoluble in hydrochloric acid, but does dissolve in it by chemical reaction into zinc chloride and hydrogen, where zinc chloride is then soluble in hydrochloric acid. Solubility does not also depend on particle size or other kinetic factors; given enough time, even large particles will eventually dissolve.

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