A solute is soluble in water. Should the solute also be soluble in hexanes?

1 Answer
May 21, 2016


The solute should be insoluble in hexanes.


Why? Well, water is a fairly powerful solvent, capable of dissolving both polar and ionic substances. The solute is likely ionic (e.g. NaCl) or strongly polar (i.e. sugar).

On the other hand, hexane is a fairly poor solvent, and will fail to dissolve any ionic material.

On the other, other hand (that's 3 hands), chemistry is an experimental science. Do the experiment first, and then try to rationalize the results on the basis of what you know.

Here is another question. Methanol and ethanol are infinitely miscible in water. Ethanol is also soluble in hexanes. Methanol is insoluble in hexanes. Can you suggest a rationale for these experimental findings?