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What is a list of polar solvents?

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Quick Answer

Polar solvents include oxygen and hydrogen, but there are many others. When polar solvents have a relative static permittivity higher than 15, they can then be divided into aprotic and protic polar solvents.

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Polar solvents have large dipole moments, or particle charges. They have bonds with very different electronegativities.

Some polar solvents include oxygen and hydrogen, but there are others classified into groups of polar protic and polar aprotic solvents. Protic solvents solvate anions via hydrogen bonding. Aprotic sovlents have large dipole moments and solvate positively charged species with their negative dipoles.

There are a number of polar apritic solvents including ethyl acetate, dimethylformamide, acetonitrile, propylene carbonate and acetone. Polar aprotic solvents have large dielectric constants of 20 or higher. Because of the high polarity of these solvents, they can dissolve charged species like anions. Because of the lack of hydrogen bonding in the solvent, the anions, which are being used as nucleophiles, are more reactive.

According to Master Organic Chemistry, some polar protic solvents include formic acid, n-Butanol, ethanol, methanol, water, nitromethane and isopropanol. Polar protic solvents have high dielectric constants and high dipole moments. They possess N-H or O-H bonds and can bond with hydrogen. These solvents can be used as acids, but they are primarily used as the solvents of conjugate bases.

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