# In ocean water, is salt a solvent or a solute?

##### 1 Answer
Jun 17, 2017

Surely it is a $\text{solute.........}$?

#### Explanation:

A solution is composed of a disperse phase, the $\text{SOLVENT}$ and is ALSO the reagent in excess; it dissolves a $\text{SOLUTE}$, the species in solution.

Solutes and solvent can be gaseous, liquid or solids. The air we breathe is certainly an example of a solution. An alloy is also an example of a solution.

And for sea water, we have (among other things) sodium chloride dissolved in water to give discrete $N {a}^{+}$ and $C {l}^{-}$ ions, i.e. the $\text{solute}$.