What makes water a good solvent?
Question asked by: knowitall
Water is a good solvent because it is liquid at room temperature - not many things on earth are naturally this and therefore this is a key requirement for a useful solvent on earth.
The bonding and the fact that you have hydrogen links to oxygen is ideal as between them are capable of dissolving many different substances for instance ionic compounds such as salt which is sodium chloride.
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High polarity of water molecule makes water a good solvent. High difference in electro-negativity of O and H and the angular shape of H2O molecule makes water highly polar solvent. So most of the ionic compounds(in which cases hydration energy > crystal lattice energy) and some covalent compounds (where polarity exists) are soluble in water. In some cases it also forms hydrogen bonding.
Date of comment: Fri, Sep 3rd 2010
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