1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Difference between precipitate and solution?

  1. Dec 26, 2006 #1
    Hi guys, can tell me the difference between precipitate and solution? And for example, when it is a green precipitate, what should be the formula? Like, should the formula for a precipitate by written as (eg. iron(III) hydroxide or iron(III) oxide) or what? Also, what is the correct formula for a solution? Let's say for example, a solution for iron is written as iron(III) hydroxide or what? :confused:
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    A precipitate is a solid, whereas a solution is a mixture formed by dissolving a solid in a solvent. This sounds awfully like a homework question to me: which of your two substances do you think is a solution?
  4. Dec 26, 2006 #3
    The question is kind of complicated for me to say. I have already posted the homework question on the homework forum. In there, I have posted the full question.

    Anyway, thanks for your help.
  5. Dec 26, 2006 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Fly_High: My advice to you, is that you spend some time over the break (if you have one) going over the basic concepts in your textbook, starting from elements, compounds, chemical formulae, and balancing equations. You appear to have some deep-rooted misconceptions. For instance, the difference between a precipitate and a solution has nothing to do with its chemical formula. The formula will not tell you whether something is soluble or not and there is no such thing as the "formula for a solution". Chemical formulae only describe chemical species and additional qualifiers are used to specify the physical state of the species. Also, there isn't really anything like an aqueous solution of iron. Iron itself is not soluble in water, though some salts of iron are. So, I'll repeat: you need to go back to the basics and make sure you are clear about them.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2006
  6. Dec 27, 2006 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  7. Dec 27, 2006 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I took a glance at your post, and it seems as Gokul has pointed out, that you need to review some of the fundamentals rather becoming obsessed with the task of understanding such concepts.

    Dissolved substances in aqueous solutions are denoted with the subscript notation of "(aq)" after its chemical formula, these are usually ions; technically even compounds that are considered to be insoluble in water dissolve to a certain extent, but we're dealing with formalities here.

    Precipitates, that do not dissolve appreciably in water are denoted with a subscript notation "(s)".

    Solutions don't really have any type of terms associate with them. Pure liquid solvents can be denoted by "(l)".

    Typically, in introductory Chemistry courses, this mode of identification as a whole is usually employed in writing ionic equations for chemical reactions in aqueous solutions.
  8. Dec 27, 2006 #7
    Thanks all for your help. I have already looked through my textbooks and have understood them.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Difference between precipitate and solution?