Solubility vs. Insolubility

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Solubility and insolubility both refer to whether or not something dissolves. Find out about solubility versus insolubility with help from an experienced chemistry and science professional in this free video clip.

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Hi. I'm Robin Higgins and this is solubility versus insolubility. So solubility is basically the science word for whether or not something dissolves. So you put something in a solvent otherwise known as usually a liquid but it could be a gas, and it dissolves, makes another solution or your can't tell if there's separate things, then that is soluble. And if you put it in your solvent and it does not dissolve, never makes one homogeneous solution then it is not soluble or insoluble. So let's look at two kind of everyday examples we're familiar with. The first up here is salt. So NaCl and we all know that if we put a spoonful of salt in water and we wait for some time, we stir it we mix it around, it's going to make a solution. You're not going to see that anymore. So this is soluble. Now let's look at another everyday thing that we will notice, and this is adding oil to water. So if we add oil to water they're going to not be together and if we mix it up and we wait some more they're still not going to be together. They're going to always form back into these two layers. And so this is insoluble. Oil is not soluble in water. And so a really, and we'll just draw a little oil guy right here, they're kind of made of carbohydrons. And we'll just draw a little carbon structure here. And a really popular thing you'll hear with solubility is like dissolves like. And what that means is it's kind of comparing the polarity between your solvent and your solute. So in our first example, water is our solvent and our salt is our solute, solute. And sodium chloride is actually ionically bonded and so when you break it apart and look at it in solution you're going to have a bunch positive recharged sodiums and negatively charged chloride ions. And this is super polar so ionic bonds, super polar. Water is also super polar. Water, very polar. And our oil, our hydrocarbons are not very polar. And so they're not going to be able to dissolve in water. And they're always going to be separate. So this is what like dissolves like means. Basically if they're both polar or they're both non-polar they're going to be soluble. If you have one of one and one of the other they're not going to be soluble. And I'm Robin Higgins and this has been solubility versus insolubility.

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