Why are ionic compounds generally insoluble in organic solvents while covalent compounds are...

Question:

Why are ionic compounds generally insoluble in organic solvents, while covalent compounds are generally soluble in organic solvents?

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In determining the relative solubility of any compound in water, it is important to note its general scale of reactivity -with regard to both polar and nonpolar solvents.

Note that an ionic solute tends to interact with a polar solvent, while a covalent solute will interact with a nonpolar solvent i.e. an ionic solute will be soluble in a polar solvent, while a covalent solute will be soluble in a nonpolar solvent.

Answer and Explanation:

Ionic compounds are not soluble in organic solvents.

1. Ionic compounds are polar in nature.

2. An organic solvent is nonpolar in nature.

3. There is no solute-solvent interaction between polar, ionic solutes and nonpolar, organic solvents.

Solubility of covalent compounds in organic solvents is due to the following reasons:

1. Covalent compounds are non-polar.

2. An organic solvent is non-polar in nature.

3. There is solute-solvent interaction between non-polar, covalent solutes and non-polar, organic solvents.

The above factors make the covalent compounds soluble in organic solvents.


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Solutions, Solutes, and Solvents

from CLEP Biology: Study Guide & Test Prep

Chapter 2 / Lesson 8
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