Why is water such a good solvent for ionic compounds?

1 Answer
Jun 23, 2018

An old story....


Water is a strongly polar solvent...with substantial charge separation operating in the individual molecule. And we could represent by the formulation....


...and of course, this is the basis of #"hydrogen-bonding"# as an intermolecular force, and also for the ridiculously high normal boiling point of water as a SMALL molecule.

The water dipole is capable of acting as a donor towards Lewis-acidic metal centres..and of course, most of the time, with inorganic salts, we gots to spend a lot of time and trouble DRYING the salts, and removing water prior to reaction.

Water should be a good donor towards CATIONS...and indeed it is. It can offer SOME stabilization to anions...

And this all attempts to explain why water is such a prodigiously good solvent. Most subtances, inorganic or organic, HAVE SOME solubility in aqueous media. Ionic solutes can tend to have substantial solubilities.