Data for the depression of vapour pressure are presented for the following aqueous solutions: NaCl (0.03 to 0.1 molar), KCl (0.03 to 0.1 molar), urea (0.05 to 0.5 molar), sucrose (0.05 to 0.10 molar), lactic and succinic acids, creatine, CaCl2 (0.05 molar), and mixtures of these substances with one another and with certain other solutions (gelatin, gum acacia, sea water, LiCl, etc.). The relation of the depression of vapour pressure of a mixed solution to that of solutions of the individual constituents was investigated in order to ascertain to what extent such studies may be used for the determination of the degree of hydration, or of the state of water, in solutions. Organic substances (urea, sucrose, etc.) showed anomalous results which were markedly affected and unpredictable in mixed solutions. They are, therefore, unsuited for the study of water binding. In the case of solutions of inorganic substances—LiCl and CaCl2—the principle of the additive nature of colligative properties is also only approximately true—except perhaps in very dilute solutions. The limitations of the colligative method for determining the degree of hydration have been defined in accord with the above findings.
Studies of the vapour pressures of mixtures of gelatin or gum acacia with NaCl or KCl demonstrated that hydration in gelatin is relatively small at pH = 7 and undetectable in gum acacia solutions. The view, therefore, that hydrophilic colloids are strongly hydrated has not been substantiated. The passage from the sol to the gel state also was not accompanied in gelatin or in blood by any appreciable change in the degree of hydration of the hydrophilic colloids present in these substances.