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Liquid-Liquid Solutions

Introduces solubility in water and polar molecules

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What are some examples of liquid-liquid solutions?

For solutions to be liquid-in-liquid, the liquids must be of the same polarity in order to dissolve one another, either all polar or all nonpolar. If water is one of the liquids, the other liquid(s) must be polar because water is a polar substance. Therefore, nonpolar liquids are immiscible, or not mixable, in water.

In molecular compounds, the miscibility or ability to dissolve is defined by the ability the liquid has to form hydrogen bonds. As the concentration of nonpolar molecules increases, the solubility level with water decreases.

Credit: Dinner Series
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/8725966597/lightbox/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Grapefruit cocktail [Figure1]

Have you ever mixed liquids together to drink? You may have made a fruit juice concoction before in which shaking the mixture allows the juices to mix together evenly. This is an example of a miscible liquid-liquid solution. Another example is white vinegar, which is made of 6% acetic acid in water and can be distilled by an expert. Additionally, vodka is a mixture of about 50% ethyl alcohol and can be distilled into 95% alcohol and water.

Creative Applications

  1. What are some household liquid-liquid solutions?
  2. Is a mixture of oil and water a liquid-liquid solution? What about a mixture of hydrochloric acid and water? Why?
  3. Experiment by creating your own liquid-liquid solutions. Try making some with water and some without water. How many of the solutions are successful, meaning that both liquids used in the particular solution have the same polarity?


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  1. [1]^ Credit: Dinner Series; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/8725966597/lightbox/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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