What are the differences between a solute/solvent and solution/suspension?

1 Answer
Oct 7, 2016


See explanation below.


Solute vs solvent
In short, a solvent dissolves a solute to form a solution. For example, salt and water. Water dissolves salt, so water is the solvent and salt is the solute. The substance which dissolves is the solvent and the substance which is dissolved is the solute. Usually the resultant solution is in the same state as the solvent (the salt water formed would be liquid).

Solution vs suspension
As shown above, a solution consists of a solute dissolved in a solvent. This means that particles of the solute have been surrounded by solvent particles. This is a homogenous mixture. In contrast, a suspension is a mixture in which one component is not dissolved in the other. For example, sand and water. Sand won't dissolve in water, but rather it would form a suspension in which it floats in water and eventually sediments.