What is solvent


Synonym: solvent

1 definition

solvent or Solvents are liquids in which other substances can be dissolved without chemically changing them.

2 classification

One differentiates:

  • Polar solvents
    • Polar protic solvents
    • Polar aprotic solvents
  • Non-polar solvents

The molecules of polar solvents have dipole properties. Typical examples are water (H.2O) or alcohol (C2H5OH). Polar protic solvents have hydrogen atoms in the molecule and can split off a proton, such as water. Polar aprotic solvents (e.g. dimethylformamide) cannot do this.

Non-polar solvents consist of molecules that are electrically neutral to the outside world. The non-polar solvents include short-chain hydrocarbons.

3 Physical process

The same dissolves in the same: polar solvents dissolve polar substances, non-polar solvents dissolve non-polar substances.

If you dissolve table salt (NaCl) in water, the ion lattice of the table salt disintegrates, which in the crystallized state by the forces of attraction of the Na+- and Cl- -Ions tightly together. The polar water molecules are responsible for this. Oxygen forms the negative pole in the water molecule, the two hydrogen atoms mark the positive pole of the dipole molecule. The mutual forces of attraction of the ions are weakened when salts are dissolved in the water, so that the cohesion of the crystal lattice is disturbed.