In chemistry, the volume fraction φi is defined as the volume of a constituent Vi divided by the volume of all constituents of the mixture V prior to mixing:
The volume fraction coincides with the volume concentration in ideal solutions where the volumes of the constituents are additive (the volume of the solution is equal to the sum of the volumes of its ingredients).
The sum of all volume fractions of a mixture is equal to 1:
The volume fraction (percentage by volume, vol%) is one way of expressing the composition of a mixture with a dimensionless quantity; mass fraction (percentage by weight, wt%) and mole fraction (percentage by moles, mol%) are others.
The percentage by volume (vol%) is one way of expressing the composition of a mixture with a dimensionless quantity; mass fraction (percentage by weight, wt%) and mole fraction (percentage by moles, mol%) are others.
In the case of a mixture of ethanol and water, which are miscible in all proportions, the designation of solvent and solute is arbitrary. The volume of such a mixture is slightly less than the sum of the volumes of the components. Thus, by the above definition, the term "40% alcohol by volume" refers to a mixture of 40 volume units of ethanol with enough water to make a final volume of 100 units, rather than a mixture of 40 units of ethanol with 60 units of water.
- Alcohol by volume
- For non-ideal mixtures, see Partial molar volume and Excess molar quantity
- Alcohol proof
- Alcohol meter
- Apparent molar property
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