Is water the universal solvent? This question often elicits a variety of answers, including “yes” and “no.”
First of all, water does not dissolve everything. Its affinity for ion attraction means that compounds with a high ion attraction do not dissolve in water. Nonpolar molecules and organic compounds also have a low chance of dissolving in water. However, water is a wonderful solvent for many applications.
In alchemy, the belief in a universal solvent was crucial to the process of obtaining the philosopher’s stone, a substance that could change lead into gold. Indeed, many alchemists considered it to be one of their major goals. Until this day, no other substance has been discovered with these properties. Therefore, water is still the default solvent for most chemical work. Here are some of the uses for water.
Humans consume about 70% of freshwater, which is used for agriculture. Water is also used for long-distance trade. Additionally, large amounts of water are used in industry and for heating in homes. Because of its diverse range of uses, water is the universal solvent. It can dissolve many substances and is an indispensable part of our daily lives. You might even be surprised at how many chemical reactions take place in water. Water also serves as an excellent solvent for a variety of compounds.
When it comes to liquid substances, water is the smallest and most basic of all. Its polarity makes it possible for many water molecules to surround a single molecule. This occurs through hydrogen bonding. The more electronegative the oxygen atom is, the more it can steal electrons from the hydrogen atoms. As a result, water is bipolar, meaning its negatively charged side attracts the positively charged oxygen side of the molecule.