Answer to Question #103976 in Microbiology for Shawnee

Question #103976
Briefly explain why water (H 2O) is an excellent solvent for NaCl. That is, why does NaCl dissolve in water?
Expert's answer

Water consists of two hydrogen atoms attached to oxygen atom via covalent bonds. However, as oxygen is more electronegative than hydrogen, it attracts a shared electron pair resulting in the formation of a partially positive charge on hydrogen atoms and partially negative charge on the oxygen atom. As a result, a water molecule is a polar compound containing positive and negative charges. As sodium chloride is salt consisting of positively charged sodium cation and negatively charged chloride anion, Na+ and Cl- ions tend to interact with polar water molecules via multiple electrostatic interactions. As a result, polar water molecules cover sodium and chloride ions providing the dissociation of NaCl and its dissolution in water.

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