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State of an organic compound in which all its carbon atoms are linked by single covalent bonds. Saturation also means the state of a solution or vapour (seevaporization) in which it has the highest possible concentration of the dissolved or vaporized material at a given pressure and temperature. Though it is sometimes possible to bring about supersaturation (a concentration exceeding the equilibrium value), such solutions or vapours are unstable and spontaneously revert to the saturated state, accompanied by the transformation of the excess material to the solid or liquid form (precipitation). See alsofatty acid; hydrogenation.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on saturation, visit Britannica.com.