There are 5 key abbreviations that involve calculations to determine the amount of solute in a given
solvent. They include:
1) volume / volume % concentration (v/v%): This involves a liquid solute diluted in a liquid solvent
that is often water. The amount of volume occupied by the solute is divided by the amount of
volume for the solution.
Example: vinegar often contains 45 mL of CH COOH i3 455 mL of water. This means that the
volume of solute is 45 mL while the volume of solution is 500 mL. The v/v% is calculated as
45mL / 500mL x 100% = 9.0 % v/v
2) weight / volume % concentration (w/v %): This involves a liquid or solid solute in a liquid solvent
that is often water. The amount of mass of solute is divided by the volume of the solution.
Example: hydrogen peroxide is produced by dissolving 3.0 g H O per 2002mL of water. The
w/v % concentration is calculated as 3.0g / 100 mL x 100% = 3.0 % w/v.
3) weight / weight % concentration (w/w%): This generally involves alloys where a solid is
dissolved in a solid to produce a unique solution. The calculation is quite simple since only
masses are considered.
Example: Dental amalgam has been made from precious metals dissolved in aluminum. If a
dental amalgam was known to weigh 1.2 g and contain a gram of aluminum, what is the w/w % of
precious metal? Remaining mass = 0.2 g / 1.2 g x 100% = 17% w/w