Polarity can be a bit of a tricky subject in chemistry. Not only are a majority of the major concepts somewhat unintuitive until you have a decent understanding of chemistry as a whole. There are also a lot of nuances and exceptions that can be difficult to keep track of. However, if you want to get a deep understanding of how polarity works, you have come to the right place.
A common misconception is that a compound is either polar or nonpolar. While this is true, it is not particularly useful to know that a compound is polar unless you also know how polar it is. Polarity is not just a yes or no question, but also a how much question. Water and ethanol can both be accurately described as polar, but water is much more polar than ethanol and has many different properties as a result.
To understand why different molecules, have different polarities, it is helpful to understand what causes polarity. Molecular structure plays an important role, with its symmetry and balance determining the overall polar nature of a molecule. Every atom has its own electronegativity. When two atoms of different electronegativities bond, the electrons will spend more time near one and less near the other.
This creates an imbalance in charges, with the electron-dense area becoming negatively charged and the electron-light area becoming positively charged. In molecules where the molecular structure is balanced and symmetrical, these imbalances can cancel each other out. However, this is a rarity, most molecules have more complex structures that do not possess internal symmetry.
Ethyl Acetate vs Hexane Polarity
Both of these chemicals are very common solvents in chemical and industrial processes. As such, understanding their polarities can be quite helpful. This chemical has an ester group, which contains one of those aforementioned imbalances. However, the rest of the molecule is nonpolar which results in it being polar, but only mildly.
Hexane, on the other hand, is completely nonpolar. Being nothing more than a chain of similarly electronegative atoms, the individual imbalances in charges are very weak and as a whole completely cancel each other out.
Where to Buy Hexane and Ethyl Acetate
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