Just out of interest - what are the main groups of solvents and their useful
Polar - water
Non polar ? Acetone, naphtha, alcohol, WD-40, Berryman B-12, brake fluid???
Others as per Barts "Hot melt glue removal (tip of the day)"
There's a range. Acetone is also polar, no hydrogen bonding (hydrogen
only on carbon), alchohol is slightly less polar, has OH- groups, will
hydrogen bond. WD-40 is aliphatic (no double bonds) straight chain
hydrocarbon which is non-polar, B-12 has aromatic (double bonds and
cyclic) iirc, including toluene, etc. Brake fluid is probably polar,
maybe a glycol with lots of OH- groups since it should be miscible
They all have different uses as solvents depending upon what you're
trying to dissolve, as you're most likely aware.
And what reason would that be??
Even you just characterized water as an ionic solvent.
DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) is considered to be the "universal solvent" from a
pure chemical pov, and even that is just a hyperbole that chemists indulge
in, acknowledging that it does dissolve more stuff than other solvents.
Someone mentioned alcohols. These are inneresting because you can "tailor"
their solvent properties by smoothly varying the number of carbons *and* the
geometry of said carbons, as well as the number of -OHs.
With single OHs, past 4 or 5 carbons (butanol, pentanol), alcohols
dramatically drop in miscibility with water, at 8 carbons (octanol), it
starts becoming greasy.
Methanol would of course be the most water like.
Ditto the "fatty acids", with the shortest (formic and acetic (vinegar) )
being decidedly good polar solvents, with the same pattern as the alcohols,
and the mid-length and longer ones being what you eat -- olive oil, lard,
The vegetable oils are surprisingly good solvents for really miserable
shop-grease, superior to dishwashing liquid in a number of cases, and proly
close to the industrial GoJo type stuff. Slower in their action, but really
good, depending on the grease at hand.
You read pretty often this "universal solvent" bidniss about water, but I
think it is a mis-appropriation of the idea that water seems to be
universally required for life -- at least life as we know it. And, there
might be some gray areas, even there.
Mae West (yer fav Congressman) to the Gangster (yer fav Lobbyist):
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