Why is common salt insoluble in ethyl alcohol?

1 Answer
Oct 14, 2016

Answer:

Because ethyl (and higher) alcohols are incapable of solvating #Na^+# and #Cl^-# ions.

Explanation:

Sodium chloride, and other ionic solids, have some solubility in aqueous solvents:

#NaCl(s) rightleftharpoons Na^(+)(aq) + Cl^(-)(aq)#

We write #Na^(+)(aq)#. What we mean by this is the aquated ion #[Na(OH_2)_6]^+#, which is, if you like, a coordination complex of sodium ion with water ligands, i.e. hexaquasodium cation. In ethanol, this sort of solvent ion complex is not supported.