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In chemistry, a solution is a homogeneous mixture composed of two or more substances. In such a mixture, a solute is a substance dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent. The solution more or less takes on the characteristics of the solvent including its phase, and the solvent is commonly the major fraction of the mixture. The concentration of a solute in a solution is a measure of how much of that solute is dissolved in the solvent, with regard to how much solvent is present.
Homogeneous means that the components of the mixture form a single phase. Heterogeneous means that the components of the mixture are of different phase. The properties of the mixture (such as concentration, temperature, and density) can be uniformly distributed through the volume but only in absence of diffusion phenomena or after their completion. Usually, the substance present in the greatest amount is considered the solvent. Solvents can be gases, liquids or solids. One or more components present in the solution other than the solvent are called solutes. The solution has the same physical state as the solvent.
If the solvent is a gas, only gases are dissolved under a given set of conditions. An example of a gaseous solution is air (oxygen and other gases dissolved in nitrogen). Since interactions between molecules play almost no role, dilute gases form rather trivial solutions. In part of the literature, they are not even classified as solutions, but addressed as mixtures.
If the solvent is a liquid, then almost all gases, liquids, and solids can be dissolved. Here are some examples:
Body fluids are examples for complex liquid solutions, containing many solutes. Many of these are electrolytes, since they contain solute ions, such as potassium. Furthermore, they contain solute molecules like sugar and urea. Oxygen and carbon dioxide are also essential components of blood chemistry, where significant changes in their concentrations may be a sign of severe illness or injury.
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