Dhristi JEE 2022-24

What is a Solvent?

Solvent is the most common word used 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 example will help you to get a clear understanding of the concept of polar solvents.


(Image will be Uploaded soon)


  • 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


(Image will be Uploaded soon)


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

 

(Image will be Uploaded soon)


Methane chloride acts as a solvent for creating a non-polar environment.


Uses of Solvents

Solvents loosely can be translated as substances that have the ability to dissolve other substances to form a homogenous mixture called a solution. The use of solvent is widely popular from dissolving paint, grease, and oil to the mixing of pigments, glues, epoxy, resins pesticides etc. to the cleansing of automotive parts, tools, electronics. Solvents are also used in the making of other chemicals. Some of the industries that deal with solvents on a regular basis include but are not limited to aerospace, wastewater, printing, and ink, oil and gas, metal finishing, furniture, and wood manufacturing, electrical, coatings and paint, automotive, cannabis, or marijuana, pharmaceuticals.


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.

FAQs on Solvent Examples

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 solvent is high.

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

2. Define the dielectric constant of a solvent.

The measure of the extent to which a substance is polarized under an applied external electric field is called the dielectric constant. It is also known as permittivity. Dielectric is a word that is commonly used to refer to a substance placed between the plates of a capacitor which is used to store the electrical energy in the form of polarization, that is as charges separated across the material. A substance with high dielectric constant means the substance can be easily polarized. For ex: The dipole moment water is higher than that of methanol which clearly states that water is more polar than methanol.

3. How do you describe a solution?

The homogenous mixture of which is made up of two or more substances is known as a solution. Homogenous mixtures are made up of mixtures that have a uniform composition. Therefore, it is obvious that the substances cannot be distinguished from each other very easily. Two important parts of this homogeneous mixture are solute and solvent. Some common examples of solutions that can be witnessed in everyday life are rubbing alcohol, salt water, and sugar dissolved in water. In the given examples, it can be observed that the solutes completely dissolve in the solvent which proves that the substances of a solution cannot be distinguished easily.

4. What are solvents?

Solvents can be described as substances that are used in the process of desolvation of other substances to form a solution.  In simple words, it is a chemical substance that comes in handy to dissolve another chemical substance to form a homogenous mixture called a solution. In a solution, solvent substances are present in large amounts and determine the physicochemical form of the substance as either solid, liquid, or gas. It is not necessary that solvents will always be in the solid phase; they can be gases or liquids. For ex: methanol, acetone, ethanol, water, hexane, benzene, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, toluene, tetrachloroethylene, etc.

5. How many types of solutions are there?

Solutions are present on this planet in phases of solids, liquids, and gases along with different combinations. Even in these phases, the solute and solvent mix completely and evenly which classifies them as perfect solutions. 

Mentioned below are the different types of phase combinations:

  • Solid: Solutions that consist of solid solute which is mixed with solid solvent can be termed as a solid solution. For ex: brass is composed of zinc and copper and steel is a product of carbon and iron. 

  • Gases: solutions that consist of a gas solute and a solid solvent can be termed as gases solution. For ex: hydrogen which is a solute is dissolved in palladium which is a solvent. 

  • Liquids: solutions that consist of liquid solute and liquid solvent can be termed as liquid solutions. For ex: solution hexane and heptane are pure liquids. 

Comment