Saline water (more commonly known as salt water) is water that contains a high concentration of dissolved salts (mainly sodium chloride). The salt concentration is usually expressed in parts per thousand (permille, ‰) or parts per million (ppm). The United States Geological Survey classifies saline water in three salinity categories. Salt concentration in slightly saline water is around 1,000 to 3,000 ppm (0.1–0.3%), in moderately saline water 3,000 to 10,000 ppm (0.3–1%) and in highly saline water 10,000 to 35,000 ppm (1–3.5%). Seawater has a salinity of roughly 35,000 ppm, equivalent to 35 grams of salt per one liter (or kilogram) of water. The saturation level is only nominally dependent on the temperature of the water. At 20 °C one liter of water can dissolve about 357 grams of salt, a concentration of 26.3% w/w. At boiling (100 °C) the amount that can be dissolved in one liter of water increases to about 391 grams, a concentration of 28.1% w/w.
At 100 °C (373.15 K, 212 °F), saturated sodium chloride brine is about 28% salt by weight. At 0 °C (273.15 K, 32 °F), brine can only hold about 26% salt. At 20 °C one liter of water can dissolve about 357 grams of salt, a concentration of 26.3%.
The thermal conductivity of seawater (3.5% dissolved salt by weight) is 0.6 W/mK at 25 °C. The thermal conductivity decreases with increasing salinity and increases with increasing temperature. The salt content can be determined with a salinometer.
where the values of an are:
- 2 NaCl(aq) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 NaOH(aq) + H2(g) + Cl2(g)
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