Sharp changes in properties of aqueous sodium chloride solution at “critical” concentrations of the salt

Elena V. Lasareva 1,*, Aksana M. Parfenova 1, Mikhail K. Beklemishev 1

1Lomonosov Moscow State University, Department of Chemistry, 119991, Moscow, Russia

*corresponding author e-mail address: | Scopus ID  26642537300

Biointerface Research in Applied Chemistry, Volume 10, Issue 1, 2020, 4922 – 4928,


It was shown that some physicochemical properties of aqueous solutions of sodium chloride (contact angle, surface tension, pH, and others) demonstrate a nonlinear dependence on the salt concentration. The maxima or minima in the graphs are most frequently observed near the concentrations of NaCl we call “critical”: 3, 5, 7, 12, 17, and 21 g/L. Similar nonlinear peak-shape dependence of the property on salinity was observed in more complex systems containing NaCl (sedimentation rate of mineral suspensions, viscosity of clay pastes, rate of a redox reaction of periodate with amine). We hypothesized that the said critical points of salt concentration may exist when the clusters of water molecules rearrange themselves upon the addition of a definite quantity of salt. The obtained results were used in the discussion of avalanche sedimentation of suspended particulate matter and colloids transported by rivers through the river mixing zones (estuary, delta) and the critical salinity under which the river biota gives place to marine biota.

Keywords: sodium chloride solutions, critical salinity, water structure, suspended particulate matter, river mixing zone.