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Aren't alkyl halides polar? making it dissolve in water because waster is also polar? Thanks


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Excellent question. But firstly, from my understanding it is outside the scope of the VCE course, so while it is great you are intellectually curious, I'm sure you also want to know what you need to remember or not :-)

You are right that they are polar, yes.

However, they are only slightly soluble in water or not at all, This is because alkyl halides prefer to interact with themselves, and water also prefers to interact with itself. This is a special case where two compounds being polar may not necessarily mean they want to mingle, because they are too busy mingling with their exact copies instead. If you search "solubility" on this page: http://www.chemguide.co.uk/organicprops/haloalkanes/background.html, it attempts to explain the phenomena in the context of "energy economics" which is the underlying force going on behind the scenes, but is outside the scope of VCE.


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