Why are ionic compounds are soluble in water but insoluble in kerosene?

The ionic compounds are held together by ionic bonds and categorized as ionic compounds. The crystalline solids are formed by neatly packed ions of opposite charges. Ionic compounds are usually formed when metals react with non-metals.

Soluble in water, Insoluble in kerosene

Ionic compounds are easily soluble in any liquid that is capable of breaking the ionic bond in them.

  • Water breaks the ionic bond by hydrogen bonding, as, water itself has a more ionic bond and is polar in nature.
  • Many other solvents such as kerosene and petrol are not capable of breaking the ionic bond. Hence, can not dissolve them, and they all have covalent bonds and which are non-polar in nature.

In water

Most ionic compounds are soluble in water. Polar water molecules have a strong attraction for charged ions and the charged ions become solvated as they dissociate into the water and ionic compounds are soluble in water.

In kerosene

Kerosene is a non-polar organic solvent and dissolves only nonpolar covalent compounds. Nonpolar substances have the capability to dissolve in nonpolar solvents. For instance, nonpolar molecular substances are likely to dissolve in hexane, which is a  nonpolar solvent and ionic compounds are insoluble in hexane.

Articles to Explore:

  1. Which of the following are not ionic compounds? (i) KCl (ii) HCl (iii) CCl4 (iv) NaCl (a) (i) and (ii) (b) (ii) and (iii) (c) (iii) and (iv) (d) (i) and (iii)
  2. Ionic compounds are solids. Give reasons.

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