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How to Make a Saturated Solution

How to Make a Saturated Solution

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These are crystals of tetratolylporphyrin forming as a saturated solution cools.

These are crystals of tetratolylporphyrin forming as a saturated solution cools. Solubility usually decreases with temperature, so sometimes all you need to do to get crystals from a saturated solution is to cool the solution.

Rifleman 82, public domain

It's easy to make a saturated solution for chemistry lab or growing crystals. Here's a look at what a saturated solution is and how to prepare one.

What Is a Saturated Solution?

A saturated solution is one containing as much solute as possible without forming a precipitate. This is the maximum concentration of solute.

How to Make a Saturated Solution

Here are three ways to make a saturated solution:
  1. Add solute to a liquid until no more will dissolve. Keep in mind, solubility often increases with temperature, so you may be able to get more solute into a hot solvent than you would if the solvent was cool. For example, you can dissolve much more sugar in hot water than you can in cold water.

     

  2. Evaporate solvent from an unsaturated solution. You can evaporate the solvent by permitting air circulation or by heating the solvent.

     

  3. Add a seed crystal to a supersaturated solution. The seed crystal will cause the solute to precipitate, leaving a saturated solution.
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