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If you had the molecular formula and molar mass of a solvent and a solute and no other specific information about the two, could one deduce the type of mixture (suspension, colloid, solution) they would create?

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    $\begingroup$ Only in rare circumstances. For instance I know $\ce{NaCl}$ in $\ce{H2O}$. But what is $\ce{C8H18}$? $\endgroup$ – MaxW Feb 20 '17 at 22:21
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Formula alone does not give you the structure. But if you have the structure of the molecules, there are molecular/thermodynamic models which take into account group contributions for every section of a molecule. These can help calculate and predict phase behaviour and mixture type. See PC-SAFT as an example.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response! Could molar volume suggest behavior? For example, if the molar volume of the solute is 231.9±5.0 cm3 and the molar volume of the solvent is 59.1±3.0 cm3, is it likely the solute would settle rather than form a colloid? I had read that the size of the particles (regarding generally very tiny particles) is a greater determinant of mixability than mass, due to the interactions between the molecules being much more impactful than the gravitational force. Thanks so much again for your insight! $\endgroup$ – Jon Yang Feb 21 '17 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ Size plays a role but it is not the only indicator. Functional groups (hydrophobic vs hydrophilic interactions etc) and geometry are also crucial. Take hexane and decanol for example. hexane is smaller than decanol in size, while decanol is more than 300 times more soluble in water than hexane. For very large molecules such as proteins, the folding and total geometry also play a role in forming colloid vs settling. See globular proteins and their solubility properties. $\endgroup$ – Kinformationist Feb 21 '17 at 4:54
  • $\begingroup$ Aah I see, thanks so much again for shedding more light on the topic, it is certainly far more complex than one might assume! $\endgroup$ – Jon Yang Feb 21 '17 at 5:31

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