In each of the following pairs, which one has the lower viscosity?

a. #"HCOOH"# or #"C"_8"H"_18#
b. #"C"_2"H"_5"Cl"# or #"CH"_3"OH"#

1 Answer
Jul 31, 2015

Answer:

a. #"C"_8"H"_18"# and b. #"C"_2"H"_5"Cl"# have the lower viscosities.

Explanation:

The viscosity of a liquid is determined by its intermolecular forces.

The stronger the intermolecular forces, the more difficult it is for the molecules to slide past each other.

a. #"HCOOH"# or #"C"_8"H"_18#

#"C"_8"H"_18# has only weak London dispersion forces, while #"HCOOH"# has strong intermolecular hydrogen bonds.

So we predict that #"C"_8"H"_18# has a lower viscosity than #"HCOOH"#.

The prediction is confirmed by the actual viscosities.

The viscosity of #"C"_8"H"_18# is 0.542 mPa·s, while the viscosity of #"CH"_3"-OH"# is 1.78 mPa·s.

b. #"C"_2"H"_5"Cl"# or #"CH"_3"-OH"#

#"C"_2"H"_5"Cl" # or #"CH"_3"-OH"#

#"C"_2"H"_5"Cl"# has weak dipole-dipole forces from the #"C-Cl"# bonds, but #"CH"_3"-OH"# has strong hydrogen bonds.

Confirmation: The viscosity of #"C"_2"H"_5"Cl"# is 0.279 mPa·s, while the viscosity of #"CH"_3"-OH"# is 0.593 mPa·s.