Which chemical properties make a substance hydrophilic?

1 Answer
Feb 26, 2018

Polarity, among other things


The reason a substance can be dissolved in water or is hydrophilic is that of how easy it can bond with Water. Water is a highly polar molecule with #delta# positive hydrogens and a #delta# negative oxygen atom, this means that molecules containing polar groups, for example, Vitamin C or alcohols, are highly hydrophilic due to their ease of forming dipole-dipole interactions with water, because they contain highly polar #OH# groups.

This is in contrast to hydrophobic compounds, like lipids, which contain a long carbon chain with many methyl groups which are non-polar. Thus fats are hydrophobic.