Are hydrocarbons hydrophobic or hydrophilic? Why are they insoluble in water?
Hydrocarbons are hydrophobic, so they can’t be soluble in water. Firstly, we have to understand the term hydrophobic.
The word hydrophobic is that it is water-fearing. We also have to realize that if it is water-fearing, it will not interact with water molecules because it is unfavorable.
Why are hydrocarbons hydrophobic?
We must understand that hydrocarbons are hydrophobic because carbon and hydrogen contain non-polar bonds. We also need to realize a hydrogen bond between hydrogen and carbon. These bonds are necessary; if we understand, we will clearly understand the terms of any molecules.
What is a hydrophilic molecule?
It is an essential molecule type in chemistry because it is highly used, and many molecules are present in this form. It is charged and can do hydrogen bonding. We also need to understand that it can quickly be mixed with water as a camper to other oil and many other hydrophobic solvents. In simple words, we can say that it is water-loving. It will attract moisture. It is hydrophilic. The most crucial point is that the hydrophilic concept is primarily used in industries to produce high and many products. So it has great importance.
What is the reason that hydrocarbons are insoluble in water?
It is straightforward to explain that water is a polar substance while hydrocarbons are nonpolar, so polar and nonpolar substances can form a mixture. Here is the principle we all know that like dissolves like. It is a straightforward and essential principle in chemistry, and it also happens daily.
In simple words, we can explain that polar substances can mix in polar substances while non-polar substances can mix in non-polar substances due to their nature. So that water is polar in nature and hydrocarbons are nonpolar, they can’t combine.
Let us take an example so that our point can be straightforward.
Some solvents are non-polar, which are benzene and chloroform. They are non-polar, so that they will mix with non-polar; it cannot mix with polar substances due to their nature.
This point of ours is already cleared in the above issues. So benzene and chloroform are mixed with waxes, grease, and much other organic fat. These are all non-polar, so that they will integrate easily.
Now we will discuss polar substances and what is the nature of them. Water is a polar substance, so that it will mix with polar substances only.
It can’t combine with non-polar substances due to its polar nature. Water will mix with NaCl, AgNO3, and K2SO4. All these molecules are polar, so that they will integrate easily with water.
We all know that a molecule comprises two or more types of elements. We here need to understand that polarity of any molecule is the difference in electronegativity of a molecule from one another.
Here is the table that shows the intermolecular interactions on the different substances on the difference of electronegativity, so it will be easy to understand this.
|Bond type (s)
|Type of intermolecular interaction between the molecules
|0.0 – 0.4
|It is non polar in nature.
|It is dipole induced so that it is dipole interactions.
|CH4 (∆ E.N = 0.2)
|0.4 – 1.7
|It is partially polar in nature.
|It contains dipole – dipole interactions.
|HCL (∆ E.N = 0.8)
|1.7 or its above value
|It is pure polar or ionic in nature.
|It contains ion dipole interactions.
|NaCl (∆ E.N = 2.2)
The essential point about hydrocarbons is that it has negligible polarity and one thing more is that it contains weak intermolecular interactions called London dispersion forces.
While water includes dipole-dipole interactions, it also contains hydrogen bonding. They cannot combine due to differences in the interactive force. That’s the reason that hydrocarbons are insoluble in water.
What is the main difference between polar and nonpolar?
If you understand this concept, you will know that the hydrocarbon is insoluble in water, and the point will be more.
So let us start with this explanation of the polar and nonpolar substances.
The main difference between polar and nonpolar substances is that they contain different electronegativity values of the molecules. Suppose the electronegativity value is highly more significant in the molecule.
In that case, the molecule’s polarity will be very large, and if the electronegativity value is substantially less, it means that the polarity value is significantly less. We also understand at this point that polar and nonpolar substances are covalent bonds.
|The important thing about polar bonds is that they are less stable.
|The important thing about polar bond is that it is more stable
|Here the electron pairs are divided into unequal pairs.
|Here the electron pairs are divided into equal pairs.
|They have two poles. Positive and negative.
|They have no poles. Not positive nor negative.
|Here the hydrogen bond is very strong.
|Here Van der interaction is present which is very weak.
|Here charge can separate from one other.
|Here charge cannot separate from one other.
|Here is a moment known as dipole.
|Here is not any dipole moment.
|Here are two highly atoms. Known as electronegative and electropositive.
|Here E.N values are less and contain similar atoms.
|Here the size of bonding atoms is different.
|Here the size of bonding atoms is the same.
|In polar molecules the melting and boiling point is very high.
|In non polar molecules the melting and boiling point is very low.
|Here the surface tension is very high.
|Here the surface tension is low.
|Here the vapor pressure is low.
|Here the vapor pressure is high.
|Here the electronegativity is greater than 0.4.
|Here the electronegativity is less than 0.4
|It can exist in the form of ionic bond and polar covalent bond.
|It can exist in the form of non polar covalent bonds.
|Here are the few best examples of the polar bond which is water, ammonia, hydrogen fluoride and sulfur dioxide.
|Here are the best examples of non polar bonds which are hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen.