What properties of water make it useful as a solvent?

Question:

What properties of water make it useful as a solvent? What types of compound can it

(i) dissolve, and

(ii) hydrolyse?

Solution:

A high value of dielectric constants (78.39 C2/Nm2) and dipole moment make water a universal solvent.

Water is able to dissolve most ionic and covalent compounds. Ionic compounds dissolve in water because of the ion-dipole interaction, whereas covalent compounds form hydrogen bonding and dissolve in water.

Water can hydrolyze metallic and non-metallic oxides, hydrides, carbides, phosphides, nitrides and various other salts. During hydrolysis, H+ and OH ions of water interact with the reacting molecule.

Some reactions are:

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