Aviva Hansel

Aviva Hansel

Published: 09 Sep 2023

Source: Thoughtco.com

Solubility is a fascinating concept in the field of chemistry that explores the ability of substances to dissolve in certain solvents. Whether it’s watching sugar dissolve in a cup of hot tea or observing the solubility of complex compounds in laboratory experiments, understanding solubility is crucial in various areas of chemistry.

In this article, we will delve into the world of solubility and explore 16 astonishing facts that will leave you in awe. From the factors that affect solubility to the solubility rules used to predict chemical reactions, we will uncover intriguing insights about this phenomenon. So, buckle up and get ready to dive deep into the captivating world of solubility!

Table of Contents

The Magic of Water: Universal Solvent

Water is often referred to as the universal solvent because it has the ability to dissolve a wide range of substances due to its polarity and unique molecular structure.

The Impact of Temperature

Solubility of most solids in liquid increases with an increase in temperature, while the solubility of gases decreases as temperature rises.

Saturated Solutions: A Delicate Balance

A saturated solution is a solution in which no more solute can be dissolved at a given temperature. It represents a delicate balance between dissolution and precipitation.

Supersaturation: Unstable but Intriguing

Supersaturation occurs when a solution contains more solute than it should theoretically be able to dissolve at a given temperature. It is a metastable state and can result in the formation of crystals.

Polarity Plays a Role

Polar solvents dissolve polar solutes, while nonpolar solvents dissolve nonpolar solutes. “Like dissolves like” is a fundamental concept in solubility.

The Solubility of Gases in Liquids

Henry’s Law describes the relationship between the pressure of a gas and its solubility in a liquid. According to this law, the solubility of a gas is directly proportional to its partial pressure.

Salting Out and Salting In

The phenomenon of salting out occurs when the addition of an electrolyte to a solution decreases the solubility of a solute. In contrast, salting in occurs when the solubility increases with the addition of an electrolyte.

Precipitation: From Solution to Solid

Precipitation is the process by which a dissolved substance solidifies from a solution, often forming crystals or a solid precipitate.

pH and Solubility

The solubility of many substances is influenced by the pH of the solution. For example, acidic conditions can increase the solubility of some metal hydroxides.

Colligative Properties

Solubility plays a crucial role in colligative properties such as boiling point elevation and freezing point depression. These properties depend on the concentration of solute particles rather than the identity of the solute itself.

The Role of Pressure

The solubility of a gas in a liquid is directly proportional to the pressure of the gas above the solution, as described by Henry’s Law.

Gaseous Oxygen in Water

Oxygen is sparingly soluble in water, but its solubility is increased by factors such as low temperature and high pressure.

The Curious Case of Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide is highly soluble in water, which explains its role in the acidity of carbonated beverages and the formation of fizzy bubbles.

The Polar-Nonpolar Dilemma

The solubility of organic compounds depends on their functional groups and the nature of the solvent. Polar solvents can dissolve polar compounds, while nonpolar solvents can dissolve nonpolar compounds.

Crystallization: From Solution to Crystal

Crystallization is the process by which a solid phase forms from a homogeneous solution, resulting in the formation of well-defined crystals with distinct properties.

Solubility and Environmental Impact

The solubility of pollutants in water affects their fate in the environment. Understanding the solubility of contaminants helps scientists assess their potential impact and develop effective remediation strategies.

These 16 astonishing facts about solubility showcase the intricacies of this essential concept in chemistry. Whether it is the universal solvent properties of water or the delicate balance between saturation and supersaturation, solubility plays a fundamental role in countless chemical processes. Take these facts as a stepping stone to explore the captivating world of solubility further.


In conclusion, solubility is a fascinating concept in chemistry that plays a crucial role in various fields such as pharmaceuticals, environmental science, and materials science. Understanding the factors that affect solubility and the ways to measure it can lead to groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in these fields. From the solubility of different substances at varying temperatures to the intriguing phenomena of solvation and supersaturation, there is no shortage of astonishing facts about solubility.Whether it’s the solubility of gases in liquids, the solubility of salts in water, or the intricacies of solubility-curves, the study of solubility offers endless possibilities for scientific exploration. By uncovering the underlying principles and mechanisms behind solubility, scientists and researchers can work towards finding innovative solutions to real-world problems.So next time you encounter a soluble substance dissolving in a liquid or witness the formation of crystals in a supersaturated solution, take a moment to appreciate the astonishing nature of solubility and the wonders it brings to the world of chemistry.


1. What is solubility?

Solubility refers to the ability of a substance, known as the solute, to dissolve in another substance, known as the solvent, to form a homogeneous mixture called a solution.

2. How is solubility measured?

Solubility is commonly measured in terms of the maximum amount of solute that can dissolve in a given amount of solvent at a specific temperature and pressure. This is usually expressed in grams of solute per liter of solvent.

3. What factors affect solubility?

Several factors can influence solubility, including temperature, pressure, nature of the solute and solvent, and the presence of other substances in the solution.

4. Why does solubility change with temperature?

In most cases, solubility increases with an increase in temperature. This is because higher temperatures provide more energy for the solute particles to overcome the attractive forces holding them together, allowing them to separate and disperse more easily in the solvent.

5. Can solubility be affected by pressure?

Yes, solubility can be affected by pressure, particularly in cases where the solute gas is involved. Increasing the pressure on a gas can enhance its solubility in a liquid, and decreasing the pressure can cause the gas to become less soluble.

6. What is solvation?

Solvation is the process in which solvent molecules surround and interact with solute particles, stabilizing them in the solution. It involves the breaking of solute-solute and solvent-solvent interactions and the formation of solute-solvent interactions.

7. What is supersaturation?

Supersaturation occurs when a solution contains more dissolved solute than it can normally hold at a given temperature. This can happen when a solution is heated and then slowly cooled, allowing more solute to dissolve initially and creating a metastable state.