Chemistry » Equilibria of Other Reaction Classes » Precipitation and Dissolution

Precipitation and Dissolution

Precipitation and Dissolution

The preservation of medical laboratory blood samples, mining of sea water for magnesium, formulation of over-the-counter medicines such as Milk of Magnesia and antacids, and treating the presence of hard water in your home’s water supply are just a few of the many tasks that involve controlling the equilibrium between a slightly soluble ionic solid and an aqueous solution of its ions.

In some cases, we want to preventdissolution from occurring. Tooth decay, for example, occurs when the calcium hydroxylapatite, which has the formula Ca5(PO4)3(OH), in our teeth dissolves. The dissolution process is aided when bacteria in our mouths feast on the sugars in our diets to produce lactic acid, which reacts with the hydroxide ions in the calcium hydroxylapatite.

Preventing the dissolution prevents the decay. On the other hand, sometimes we want a substance to dissolve. We want the calcium carbonate in a chewable antacid to dissolve because the \({\text{CO}}_{3}{}^{\text{2−}}\) ions produced in this process help soothe an upset stomach.

In this section, we will find out how we can control the dissolution of a slightly soluble ionic solid by the application of Le Châtelier’s principle. We will also learn how to use the equilibrium constant of the reaction to determine the concentration of ions present in a saturated solution.

Do you want to suggest a correction or an addition to this content? Leave Contribution

[Attributions and Licenses]

Test Your Knowledge | Examination Past Questions

A mixture of NaCI(s) and CaCO3(s) is best separated by


A) dissolution followed by filtration

B) sublimation followed by crystallization

C) dissolution followed by evaporation

D) dissolution followed by crystallization

E) sublimation followed by dissolution

Exam Body: West African Examinations Council (WAEC)

View Past Question

This is a lesson from the tutorial, Equilibria of Other Reaction Classes and you are encouraged to log in or register, so that you can track your progress.

Log In

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!