Advanced Water Chemistry FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
The question library on water related issues
Hydrogen atoms are attracted to other atoms such as oxygen atoms, because the electrons are pulled closer to the oxygen atom, due to its greater attraction for electrons. As a result the oxygen atom has a slightly negative partial charge and the hydrogen atoms have a slightly positive partial charge. The slightly positively charged hydrogen atoms are then attracted to the slightly negatively charged oxygen atoms of other water molecules. These forces of attraction are called hydrogen bonds. The forces holding two molecules together in a hydrogen bond are much stronger than those between molecules and hydrocarbons. The attraction between hydrogen and oxygen atoms results in a much higher boiling point of water than anticipated for a different molecule with the same mass.
In this picture you can see what hydrogen bonds in water look like:
To make water evaporate, energy has to be added. The water molecules in the water absorb that energy individually. Due to this absorption of energy the hydrogen bonds connecting water molecules to one another will break. The molecules are now in the gaseous state; this is called water vapour. The phase change from liquid to vapour is called evaporation. During evaporation a molecule of water absorbs latent heat.
Thermal properties of a liquid are properties that have everything to do with heat transfer through this liquid. Thermal properties can be divided up into specific heat and latent heat.
Henry's Law determines the solubility of gasses in water. This law links the partial pressure of a gas to its mole-fraction in the liquid phase, and thus declares how much of the gas is dissolved. According to calculations from Henry's Law oxygen is more water-soluble than nitrogen.
Water molecules are polar. That is why the solubility of a liquid is determined by its polarity. Polair substances often contain OH-, SH- and NH2- groups. The more of these groups a liquid contains, the more water-soluble it is. This is because the groups in question can form hydrogen bonds with water, which are very strong. Because these bonds are very strong a molecule that contains more OH-, SH- and NH2- groups is more water-soluble.
Water can take part in oxidation and reduction reactions. Water can be a donor of electrons; this is called a reducing agent. The type of reaction where a compound takes up electrons is called an oxidation reaction. The acceptor of electrons is called the oxidant. Usually oxygen originates during such reactions. Water can also act as an acceptor of electrons, an oxidant. The type of reaction where a compound accepts electrons is called a reduction reaction.
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