Problem: AlcoholSolubility in H2O (mol alcohol/100 g H2O)Solubility in Hexane (C6H14) (mol alcohol/100 g C6H14)Methanol (CH3OH)Miscible0.12Ethanol (CH3CH2OH)MiscibleMisciblePropanol (CH3CH2CH2OH)MiscibleMiscibleButanol (CH3CH2CH2CH2OH)0.11MisciblePentanol (CH3CH2CH2CH2CH2OH)0.030MiscibleConsider the table listing the solubilities of several alcohols in water and in hexane. Explain the observed trend in terms of intermolecular forces.

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to explain the observed trend in terms of intermolecular forces based on the miscibility of the alcohols.

miscible → they will mix and will form a homogeneous mixture
immiscible → they will not mix and will form a heterogeneous mixture


We’re going to use the theory “like” dissolving “like”  which states that the solvent can only completely dissolve the solute if they share similar polarity

Therefore, a pure solvent with similar polarity can successfully dissolve a solute to create a solution. 


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Problem Details


Alcohol
Solubility in H2O (mol alcohol/100 g H2O)Solubility in Hexane (C6H14) (mol alcohol/100 g C6H14)
Methanol (CH3OH)
Miscible0.12
Ethanol (CH3CH2OH)
MiscibleMiscible
Propanol (CH3CH2CH2OH)
MiscibleMiscible
Butanol (CH3CH2CH2CH2OH)
0.11Miscible
Pentanol (CH3CH2CH2CH2CH2OH)
0.030Miscible


Consider the table listing the solubilities of several alcohols in water and in hexane. Explain the observed trend in terms of intermolecular forces.

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