Problem: Would you expect stearic acid, CH3 (CH2 )16 COOH, to be more soluble in water or in carbon tetrachloride?

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked in which solvent do we expect stearic acid (CH3 (CH2 )16 COOH) to be soluble. Recall that the main idea in dissolution is like dissolves like, which means compounds with the same polarity and intermolecular force can dissolve each other.


Stearic acid is an example of a fatty acid. Generally, a fatty acid consists of a straight chain of an even number of carbon atoms, with hydrogen atoms along the length of the chain and at one end of the chain and a carboxyl group (―COOH) at the other end. This means that stearic acid, due to oxygen (a highly electronegative atom) being directly bonded to hydrogen, is a polar molecule that exhibits hydrogen bonding.


So for this, we need to draw the Lewis structures of the given solvents and determine their polarity.


Step 1: Determine the central atom in this molecule.

Step 2: Calculate the total number of valence electrons present and draw the Lewis structure for the molecule.

Step 3: Determine the polarity of the molecule.


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Problem Details

Would you expect stearic acid, CH3 (CH2 )16 COOH, to be more soluble in water or in carbon tetrachloride?

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