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Thread: is the term saturated solvent a contradiction in terms?

  1. #1 is the term saturated solvent a contradiction in terms? 
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    is the term saturated solvent a contradiction in terms?

    a solvent is a solvent because it can dissolve a solute..

    if it's saturated then it no longer can..

    If it's heated then it can dissolve stuff, but if it's heated then it's no longer saturated


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  3. #2  
    KJW
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    I've never heard the term "saturated solvent". I have heard the term "saturated solution", though.


    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJW View Post
    I've never heard the term "saturated solvent". I have heard the term "saturated solution", though.
    And even "saturated" solutions might still dissolve other compounds.

    The so-called "saturated solvent" could become a different solvent for many substances.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzum View Post
    is the term saturated solvent a contradiction in terms?

    a solvent is a solvent because it can dissolve a solute..

    if it's saturated then it no longer can..

    If it's heated then it can dissolve stuff, but if it's heated then it's no longer saturated
    Can you provide some context?

    Or are you just trying to be a smart-arse?
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    The only case I can think of where "saturated solvent" is not a meaningless phrase is if you are describing the air above a liquid in a closed system as being saturated with the vapour of the liquid. This could be described as a saturated solvent vapour but this is a property of the gas phase above the solvent, not the solvent itself.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Helix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KJW View Post
    I've never heard the term "saturated solvent". I have heard the term "saturated solution", though.
    And even "saturated" solutions might still dissolve other compounds.

    The so-called "saturated solvent" could become a different solvent for many substances.
    So is the term "solvent" a bit meaningless without it being stated solvent for what solute?

    Like how useful is it to know something is a solvent, without knowing what it is a solvent for.. 'cos without knowing what it is a solvent for, we can't even easily test if it is a solvent? (as we aren't going to have every possible solute lined up to find out)
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Double Helix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KJW View Post
    I've never heard the term "saturated solvent". I have heard the term "saturated solution", though.
    And even "saturated" solutions might still dissolve other compounds.

    The so-called "saturated solvent" could become a different solvent for many substances.
    So is the term "solvent" a bit meaningless without it being stated solvent for what solute?

    Like how useful is it to know something is a solvent, without knowing what it is a solvent for.. 'cos without knowing what it is a solvent for, we can't even easily test if it is a solvent? (as we aren't going to have every possible solute lined up to find out)
    It is quite normal to describe a substance as being a good solvent FOR another one, or for a class of substances. Strictly speaking it is indeed a bit meaningless to describe something as "a solvent" without qualifying that in some way. Generally when people do this there is some context implying that solvency for some class of materials is implied.
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