 # Difference Between Molarity And Molality

tl;dr
Molarity is the number of moles of solute per liter of solution, while molality is the number of moles of solute per kilogram of solvent, and is affected by temperature changes. When it comes to solving chemistry problems or making measurements in chemistry, two concepts that are very important and may sometimes be used interchangeably are molarity and molality. Although they both refer to the concentration of a solution, they are not the same thing.

Molarity is defined as the number of moles of solute per liter of solution. It is usually represented with a capital M, and its formula is:

M = moles of solute / liters of solution

For example, if we dissolve 2 moles of NaCl (table salt) in 1 liter of water, the molarity of the resulting solution would be 2 M NaCl.

Molality, on the other hand, is defined as the number of moles of solute per kilogram of solvent. It is usually represented with a lowercase m, and its formula is:

m = moles of solute / kilograms of solvent

For example, if we dissolve 2 moles of NaCl in 1 kilogram of water, the molality of the resulting solution would be 2 m NaCl.

One of the main differences between molarity and molality is that molarity takes into account the volume of the solution, while molality takes into account the mass of the solvent. This means that if we add more solute to the same volume of solvent, the molarity of the solution will increase, but the molality will remain the same. Conversely, if we add more solvent to the same amount of solute, the molality of the solution will decrease, but the molarity will remain the same.

Another difference between molarity and molality is that molality is affected by changes in temperature, while molarity is not. This is because the volume of a solution can vary with temperature, but the mass of the solvent remains constant.

For instance, let's say we have a solution that contains 2 moles of NaCl dissolved in 1 kilogram of water at room temperature (25°C). The molality of the solution is 2 m NaCl. However, if we heat the solution to 50°C, the volume of the solution will increase, but the mass of the water will remain the same. Therefore, the molality of the solution will decrease, even though the molarity will remain the same.

A third difference between molarity and molality is that molality is used more often in certain types of calculations, such as colligative properties. Colligative properties are properties of a solution that depend solely on the number of solute particles in the solution, regardless of the nature of the particles. Some examples of colligative properties are boiling point elevation, freezing point depression, osmotic pressure, and vapor pressure lowering.

Colligative properties are related to the concentration of the solution, but they are not simply proportional to the molarity or molality of the solute. Instead, they depend on the number of particles of solute per unit of solvent, or what is called the solute's "molality factor" or "van't Hoff factor". For instance, 1 mole of NaCl in water forms 2 ions, so its molality factor is 2. Therefore, a solution containing 1 mole of NaCl per kilogram of water will have a greater effect on the freezing point depression than a solution containing 1 mole of sugar per kilogram of water, since sugar does not dissociate into ions.

In general, molality is preferred over molarity for colligative properties calculations, since it gives a better measure of the number of particles of solute per unit of solvent.

In summary, while molarity and molality are both measures of the concentration of a solution, there are some important differences between them. Molarity is based on the volume of the solution and is not affected by changes in temperature, while molality is based on the mass of the solvent and is affected by changes in temperature. Molality is also used more often for calculations involving colligative properties. Understanding these differences is crucial for accurate and effective chemistry calculations.