How does a saturated solution relate to a supersaturated solution?

1 Answer
Jun 30, 2017

I think your categories are a bit confused.........


Saturation, as it applies to the following reaction is an equilibrium condition........

#"Solid solute+solvent "rightleftharpoons" Saturated solution"#

And thus a #"saturated solution"# has a concentration of solute the same as would be observed were the solute in equilibrium with UNDISSOLVED solute.

If the amount of solute is GREATER than the amount than would be in equilibrium with undissolved solute, the solution is said to be #"SUPERSATURATED"#. This is a metastable condition, and the supersaturated can often be bought back to saturation by scratching the flask, or adding a seed crystal.