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What is known as universal solvent?
a. Alcohol
b. Water
c. Ether
d. Benzene

Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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Hint: A universal solvent can theoretically dissolve any other chemical. A true universal solvent does not exist, however, one of the above has the ability to dissolve the most amount of chemicals as compared to other options.

Complete answer:
Water is often referred to as a universal solvent, because it can dissolve more chemicals than any other solvent. It does not dissolve non polar molecules, including organic compounds such as fats and oils. Water dissolves more chemicals than any other solvent because its polar nature gives each molecule a hydrophobic(water-fearing) and hydrophilic (water-loving) side.
The polarization allows water to attract other types of molecules. The side of the molecules with two hydrogen atoms has a slight positive electrical charge, while the oxygen atom carries a slight negative charge. Sodium chloride or salt, have strong ionic attraction which allows water to separate the compound into its ions. Other molecules, such as sucrose or sugar, aren’t torn into ions, but disperse evenly in water. Solvents fall into three broad categories. There are non-polar solvents like acetone and polar solvents such as water, and then there is mercury, a special solvent that forms an amalgam. By far Water is the most important polar solvent.
So, option (b) is correct.

There are several non-polar organic solvents. For example, an actress, methyl acetate and ethyl acetate are used for glue and nail polish. The other example is use of tetrachloroethylene for dry cleaning.