**Ideal Mixing**

An ideal solution can be said to follow Raoult's Law but it must be kept in mind that in the strict sense ideal solutions do not exist. The fact that the vapor is taken to be ideal is the least of our worries. Interactions between gas molecules are typically quite small especially if the vapor pressures are low. The interactions in a liquid however are very strong. For a solution to be ideal we must assume that it does not matter whether a molecule A has another A as neighbor or a B molecule. This is only approximately true if the two species are almost identical chemically. We can see that from considering the Gibbs free energy change of mixing:

This is always negative, so mixing is spontaneous. However the expression is, apart from a factor –*T*, equal to the entropy of mixing. This leaves no room at all for an enthalpy effect and implies that Δ_{mix}*H* must be equal to zero and this can only be if the interactions *U* between the molecules are indifferent.

It can be shown using the Gibbs–Duhem equation that if Raoult's law holds over the entire concentration range *x* = 0–1 in a binary solution then, for the second component, the same must also hold.

If the deviations from ideality are not too strong, Raoult's law will still be valid in a narrow concentration range when approaching *x* = 1 for the majority phase (the *solvent*). The solute will also show a linear limiting law but with a different coefficient. This law is known as Henry's law.

The presence of these limited linear regimes has been experimentally verified in a great number of cases. In a perfectly ideal system, where ideal liquid and ideal vapor are assumed, a very useful equation emerges if Raoult's law is combined with Dalton's Law.

- ,

where is the mole fraction of component in the *solution* and is its mole fraction in the *gas phase*. This equation shows that, for an ideal solution where each pure component has a different vapor pressure, the gas phase will be enriched in the component with the higher pure vapor pressure and the solution will be enriched in the component with the lower pure vapor pressure. This phenomenon is the basis for distillation.

Read more about this topic: Raoult's Law

### Famous quotes containing the words ideal and/or mixing:

“The *ideal* has many names, and beauty is but one of them.”

—W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965)

“Give me Catholicism every time. Father Cheeryble with his thurible; Father Chatterjee with his liturgy. What fun they have with all their charades and conundrums! If it weren’t for the Christianity they insist on *mixing* in with it, I’d be converted tomorrow.”

—Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)