# Because it will dissolve so many solvent, what substance is sometimes called the universal solvent?

May 11, 2017

#### Answer:

$\text{..........water...........}$

#### Explanation:

Believe it or not most materials, molecular or ionic, express some water solubility. Because of its dipolar nature, i.e. ""^(delta+)H-stackrel(-delta)O-H^(delta+), water is a superb solvent for many ionic species; and also for polar molecules such as alcohols and hydrogen halides. The fact that water is LIGHT and very concentrated (i.e. $> 55.5 \cdot m o l \cdot {L}^{-} 1$) only lends to its utility. What else? Water is cheap ( a big consideration).

The downside of using water is that it is quite persistent. It is a big deal to dry an organic solvent, or an inorganic salt, and rid it of traces of water.