Concentrations of Solutions

With some exceptions, the composition of most solutions used in laboratories is defined in terms of concentration. Concentration is a precise measure of the amount of solute present in a given amount of solution/solvent. For example, 1 mg sugar is dissolved in water to a final volume of 1 ml. In this case, the concentration of sugar in a solution is 1 mg/ml. 

It is important to know how much compound is added in a reaction in order to reproduce the experiment. Concentration of solutes in a solution can be expressed in several ways: 

  • Percentage
    • Mass percent (w/w)
    • Volume percent (v/v)
    • Mass/volume percent (w/v)
  • Parts per million (for dilute solution)
  • Molarity
  • Molality
  • Normality (for acid-base chemistry)

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