How Will You Define Solvent in Chemistry?

Most of the substances that we come across in our day to day life are not pure substances. Most of these are mixtures containing two or more pure substances. The air around us is a mixture of gases primarily oxygen and nitrogen; the water we drink contains very small amounts of various salts dissolved in it, the substances like milk, jaggery, sharbat drink. Which appear to contain only one type of substance is in fact, mixtures. Our blood is a mixture of different components. The solution is made up of two-components. One is solute and another one is solvent. A mixture of solute and solvent is called a solution. Now, come to the main part of how will you define the solvent in chemistry? The chemical solvent is defined as the substance which is present in more quantity in the solution. 


Solvent Chemistry

Solvent generally exists in liquid form. But it can also be present in the solid, gases, and supercritical liquid form. Solvent meaning chemistry is the chemical in which solute is mixed, present in more quantity, and forms a homogeneous mixture(solution). The solvent chemistry depends upon the nature of the solvent. The solvent chemistry of polar solvent will be different from the non-polar solvent. As we know the mixture of solute and solvent is called solution, the overall chemistry of solution depends upon the nature of the solute and the nature of the chemical solvent. The amount of solute that can be dissolved in the specific volume of the chemical solvent depends upon the temperature. 


Types of Solvents in Chemistry

The homogeneous mixture of solute and solvent is called a solution. The solvent in chemistry is divided into two parts: polar solvent and non-polar solvent. This categorisation of the solvent chem depends upon the polarity and non-polarity nature of the solvent chemical or molecule. If the elements present in the solvent molecule are of different electronegativities or show electronegativity difference then the solvent is said to be polar. If the elements present in the solvent molecule are of the same or similar electronegativities or do not show electronegativity difference then the solvent is said to be non-polar.

  • Polar Solvent - The polar Solvent is made up of atoms that show differences in their electronegativities. These types of solvent have a high dielectric constant. The dielectric constant of the chemical is the property that provides the rough idea of the polarity of the chemical. Solvent particles in the solvent generally neutralise the charge of the solute (chemical) immersed in it.

  • Non-Polar Solvent - The non-polar solvent is made up of an element that does not possess any difference in its electronegativities. These types of solvent have a low dielectric constant. The dielectric constant value of the non-polar molecule generally lies below 15.

  • Organic Solvents - Solvents in organic chemistry are compounds or molecules made up of carbon-based structure. Example: aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbon, amines, and esters.


Solvents and Solvent Effects in Organic Chemistry

When a substance is dissolved in another substance and if it gets dissolved completely and forms a homogeneous mixture, then it will be called a solution. The mixture of solute and solvent of the solution consists of a single phase. In this phase, all solute molecules occur as a solvate. The ability of a compound to get dissolved in another substance is known as solubility. In the mixing process, the solute and solvent particles interact with each other at the molecular level and form bonds.

Heat transfer, change in enthalpy, and change in entropy is involved in the mixing process of solute in the solvent. Solvent influences its effect on the reactivity of the chemical and on their molecular association, these effects are known as solvent effects. Apart from this solvents affect the solubility of the compound (solute), stability and reaction rates of the reaction. Therefore, it is necessary to choose an appropriate solvent. So that it allows thermodynamic and kinetic control over the chemical reactions.

 

Uses of Solvent

  • An organic solvent mixture is used in making paint thinners.

  • The halogenated solvent is used in dry cleaning.

  • It is used in the coating.

  • Solvents are used in making inks.

  • Solvents are used in personal care products.

  • Solvents are used in cleaning stains. 


Did You Know? 

  • Solvents are generally flammable in nature.

  • Vapours of some solvent are toxic in nature.

  • Some solvent favours are irritant for the skin.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is solvent in chemistry?

The chemical solvent is defined as the substance which is present in more quantity in the solution.

2. What are the different types of solvent?

The Solvent can be classified on the basis of electronegativity difference into two types: Polar solvent and non-polar solvent.

  • Polar Solvent- The polar Solvent is composed of elements that have an electronegativity difference between them. The dielectric constant of this type of solution is high. The dielectric constant of the chemical indirectly represents the polarity of the compound. These types of solvent particles have a tendency to neutralise the charge present on the solute ions which is immersed in it.

  • Non-Polar Solvent- The non-polar solvent is composed of atoms/elements that do not have any electronegativity difference between them. These types of solvent have a low dielectric constant. The dielectric constant quantity of the non-polar molecule is very low around 15. Example of non-polar solvents is carbon disulphide, bromine, and carbon tetrachloride.

  • Organic Solvents- Solvents in organic chemistry are compounds or molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen, and other elements.