solvent is a substance that is capable of dissolving another substance
(called a solute) into a uniform mixture known as a solution. In order
for a solvent to be able to accomplish this task it must overcome the
forces that bind the solute (the substance being dissolved) together.
ever made bouillon soup? When you make bouillon soup you are
dissolving a solute (the bouillon cube) with a solvent (water) to
make a solution (bouillon soup).
Molecules are held together by
electrostatic attractions called van der
Waals forces. However the forces causing molecules to stick
together are much weaker than chemical bonds. Chemical bonds are
the forces that bind the atoms of a molecule together. Although
van der Waals forces are weak they affect the properties of solvents.
As you will discover in this lesson, only solvents with van der Waals forces similar to those of the solute will be able to
pull the molecules of the solute apart so that it will dissolve.
Solvents Affects Human Health
the properties of solvents is important. Some organic solvents are
highly toxic and harmful to human health. In this lesson we will
learn how to make decisions about these solvents to help protect human health.