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Does the protein solution (albumen) have a high molarity? What is th evidence for your conclusion?

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Michael Corsi, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator


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Unless you have been given other information about the exact nature of this solution, I feel that this may be a trick question. Remember that molarity (M) is defined as the number of moles of a solute divided by the total number of liters of the entire solution (solute + solvent). The equation is as follows:

M = mol solute / L solution

Albumen is an incredibly large molecule. It's chemical formula is C123H193N35O37. Therefore, by size alone it may appear as if it would have a high molarity. But remember that molarity is simply a measurement of the proportion of solute in the overall solution. Therefore it could be either very high or very low depending on the exact experimental circumstances you are working with. For example, if you had one mol of albumen dissolved in 100 liters of water, your molarity would be 1/100 = .01 - not too large. However, if you had much less solvent (the water) and much more solute (the albumen), the molarity would increase significantly.

It is not even possible to tell if albumen would have a high molarity because we do not know what the solvent is that it is being dissolved in (water, blood, etc.). Furthermore, other factors, such as temperature and pressure, also impact the molarity of a solution because they determine how much of a solute can actually dissolve in a solvent. At higher temperatures, for example, a higher concentration of albumen can dissolve in water than at lower temperature.

In brief, the answer to this question is that albumen has a high molarity when there's a lot of it, and a low molarity when there isn't. However, if you were referring to something like the human albumen solution "Albuminar," which is an aqueous solution, then we would still need to know the number of mols of albumen and the volume of water it had been dissolved in. In general, though, these medical solutions do tend to be on the higher side in terms of molarity.

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