Solvents are liquids of polar or non-polar structure, which are used as a medium in which chemical substances are dissolved.
These liquids are able to form liquid solutions. Their chemical structure determines the type of substance suitable for dissolving in them. Polar solvents dissolve well polar substances and electrolytes, while compounds of low polarity or non-polar compounds are dissolved in non-polar solvents. The basic rule for the selection of solvents is “like dissolves like”.
Solvents are used for example in the processes of extraction and dilution of chemicals. They are also suitable for cleaning surfaces, where they dissolve contaminations and remove them. Moreover, solvents create the environment for chemical reactions. In this application, the chemical inertness of the solvent is required in relation to reagents and reaction products.
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