Problem: Soaps consist of compounds such as sodium stearate, CH3(CH2)16COO–Na+, that have both hydrophobic and hydrophilic parts. Consider the hydrocarbon part of sodium stearate to be the "tail" and the charged part to be the "head."Which part of sodium stearate, head or tail, is more likely to be solvated by water?

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We're being asked to determine which part of sodium stearate, head or tail, is solvated by water

Recall that Intermolecular Forces (IMF) are the attractive forces between 2 molecules.

Ion-dipole

  • strongest IMF
  • deals with the attraction between an ion and a polar compound.

Hydrogen Bonding

  • 2nd strongest IMF
  • exists anytime hydrogen is directly connected to fluorine, oxygen or nitrogen
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Problem Details

Soaps consist of compounds such as sodium stearate, CH3(CH2)16COONa+, that have both hydrophobic and hydrophilic parts. Consider the hydrocarbon part of sodium stearate to be the "tail" and the charged part to be the "head."

Which part of sodium stearate, head or tail, is more likely to be solvated by water?

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