Solvent Examples

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What is a Solvent?

The solvent is the most common word use in physical chemistry. Here, we will discuss the solution, solute, types of solvent, examples of solvent, and what is a solvent in science? A solution is a homogeneous mixture made up of solute and solvent. The major part of a solution is composed of solvent while the minor part is composed of solute. The solvent is the substance or liquid in which other materials dissolve to form a solution.


Types of Solvents

Solvents can be classified into two types:

  1. Polar solvent

  2. Non-polar solvent

Polar Solvent

Non - Polar Solvent

A polar solvent is composed of molecules that contain bonds between atoms with different electronegativity.

A non-polar solvent is composed of molecules that contain bonds between atoms with the same or similar electronegativity.


The dielectric constant of this type of solvent is high.

The dielectric constant of this type of solvent is low.

Polar solvent has a high dipole moment.

Non-polar solvent has a low dipole moment.

This type of solvents can be further classified into the protic and aprotic solvents.

This type of solvents cannot be further classified.

Their static permittivity is high.

Their static permittivity is low.

Examples: H2O and NH3

Example: CH4 and Br2


List of Solvents

Non - Polar Solvent

  • Pentane - Pentane is a five-carbon chain organic compound. It has a low dielectric constant. Its dipole moment is zero. It does not act as a good solvent for charged species. 

  • Hexane - Hexane is a six-carbon chain organic compound. It has a low dielectric constant. Its dipole moment is zero. It does not act as a good solvent for charged species.

  • Toluene - Toluene is an aromatic organic compound. It has a low dielectric constant. Its dipole moment is 0.34D. It does not act as a good solvent for any charged species.

  • Chloroform - Chloroform is an organic compound. It has a low dielectric constant. Its dipole moment is 1.04D. It does not act as a good solvent for charged species.


Polar Solvent

  • Water - Its chemical formula is H2O. It is a polar protic solvent. It is also called a universal solvent. In various reactions, water plays the role of a solvent. Its dielectric constant is 80. The dipole moment of water is 1.85D. Water as a solvent example- water's ability to disrupt molecular structures to form solutions, makes it a valuable tool for organisms at the cellular level. Water as a solvent examples will help you to get a clear understanding of the concept of polar solvents.

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  • Methanol - It is a polar organic compound. Its molecular formula is CH3OH. Its dielectric constant is 33. It has a high dipole moment of around 1.70 D.

  • Acetic Acid - It is a polar organic compound. Its molecular formula is CH3COOH. Its dielectric constant is 6.2. It has a high dipole moment of around 1.74 D.

  • Ethanol - Ethanol is a polar organic protic solvent. Its molecular formula is CH3CH2OH. Its dielectric constant is 25. It has a high dipole moment of around 1.69 D.

  • Ammonia - Ammonia is a polar organic protic solvent. Its molecular formula is CH3CH2OH. Its dielectric constant is 25. It has a high dipole moment of around 1.40 D.


Examples

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In the above reaction, water acts as an activating solvent for the bromine molecule to form an intermediate. 

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Methane dichloride acting as a solvent for creating a non-polar environment. 


Did You Know?

  • Protic solvents have a tendency to participate in hydrogen bonding.

  • The entropy of the solution is more than the entropy of the solvent. 

  • The dielectric constant of the solvent is the capacity to reduce the solute’s effective internal charge.

  • A fun fact about the word solvent is that the solvent definition Chemistry is different from that in English. For example, an organization or any person is said to be solvent, when they own enough money or assets to pay all their debts or bills, whereas, the word insolvent is used to refer to those who are incapable of paying off their debts.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Give three properties of a polar solvent

Three properties of polar solvent are given below:

  • A polar solvent is composed of molecules that contain bonds between atoms with different electronegativity.

  • The dielectric constant of this type of solvents is high.

  • These solvents can be further classified into protic and aprotic solvents.

2. Define the dielectric constant of a solvent

The dielectric constant of a solvent is the capacity to reduce its solute’s effective internal charge.