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What is meant when someone says 50% solution of NaCl?

  1. Feb 17, 2013 #1
    when someone talks about a 50% NaCl solution or a 35% ethylene glycol solution, what does this really mean? Is this the percentage of the solute in the solution by mass, moles, or what?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2013 #2
    Depends if you see v/v (volume/volume) or w/v (weight/volume) %. 50% (w/v) NaCl would be 50 grams in 100 mL of water. 35% ethylene glycol would be 35 mL ethylene glycol + 65 mL water = 100 mL solution, but 35% of that solution is ethylene glycol.

    In reality volumes don't add, but 99% of the time for lab purposes it doesn't matter if you're off by 0.01 mL.
  4. Feb 17, 2013 #3


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    I always interpreted that to be 50 grams of NaCl in 100 mL of solution (solution = water + salt).
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