Correlating Polarity and Physical Properties: Boiling PointsSummary

Introduction

Understanding the nature of intermolecular interactions permits us to understand many jiyuushikan.orgical and also physical phenomena. In fact, it was the investigation of such phenomena that resulted in our knowledge of intermolecular interactions in the initially area. In the discussion that complies with, we will certainly refer to Coulomb"s law several times, so it might be worthwhile to testimonial the mathematical statement of that law:

Coulomb"s Law


(F_cproptofracq_1q_2r^2)

In regards to intermolecular interactions, the law claims that the force of attraction between 2 molecules increases as the distance between them decreases. It likewise claims that the pressure of attraction rises as the magnitude of the oppowebsite charges boost.

You are watching: Why does water have a higher boiling point than methane


Boiling Points

In the gas phase, the distance between molecules is big in compariboy to the dimension of the molecules. Due to the fact that the distance is very huge, Coulomb"s legislation tells us that the pressure of attraction in between the molecules is incredibly small. In gases it is essentially zero.

In the liquid state, the separation between molecules is a lot smaller, and also the interactions between them much larger than in the gas phase. The boiling suggest of a liquid is a meacertain of the amount of power required to conquer these intermolecular Coulombic attractions. Let"s compare the boiling points of 3 little molecules, dihydrogen, methane and also water. Dihydrogen boils at -259oC, methane boils at -164oC, water at +100oC. Obviously the intermolecular forces holding water molecules together are much more powerful than those holding dihydrogen or methane molecules together. If we assume that in the liquid phase the intermolecular distances are around the very same for all 3 molecules, then it should be differences in the worths of q1 and q2 that are responsible for the differences in boiling points. It is essential to remember that in this instance q1 and also q2 are the charges associated through the bond dipoles. Figure 1 serves as a reminder of the interactions that we are considering. Here X represents any type of atom or group and the daburned red lines show the Coulombic attractions in between oppowebsite charges.

*

Figure 1: Even Partial Charges Attract

Let"s compare water and also methane initially. Since oxygen is more electronegative than carbon, an (ceO-H) bond has actually a larger bond dipole than a (ceC-H) bond. Hence the force of attractivity in between two water molecules is better than it is between 2 methane molecules. Water has actually the greater boiling allude.

Now let"s compare methane and dihydrogen. We can invoke the same discussion here that we did in comparing methane and water. The (ceC-H) bond has a larger bond dipole than the (ceH-H) bond. Because of this, methane has the higher boiling allude. The real question is why does dihydrogen end up being a liquid at any temperature? It has actually no irreversible bond dipole, so the values of q1 and q2 must be zero, and also the force of attractivity between dihydrogen molecules should additionally be zero. The crucial word right here is irreversible. As we have actually viewed, the activity of the electrons in the H-H bond induces transient dipoles. The distortion of the electron circulation in one molecule of dihydrogen induces complementary distortions in other , adjacent dihydrogen molecules. It is this fleeting advancement of charge that we contact upon to rationalize the fact that dihydrogen does finally liquefy at -259oC.

Finally, let"s think about the boiling points of a series of alkanes and also a equivalent series of alcohols. Figure 2 presents plots of the boiling points of a homologous series of straight alkanes and straight alcohols.

*

Figure 2: Comin" to a Boil

Tright here are several patterns in this number that are notable.

First, it"s noticeable that alcohols have actually higher boiling points than alkanes of similar dimension.Second, the differences in boiling points end up being smaller sized as n rises. (When n = 1, the difference in boiling points is 156oC. When n = 10, the difference is 26 oC.)Third, in both series, the boiling points rise as n rises.

Exercise 1 What factor is responsible for the first trend?

Figure 3 uses a pictorial rationalization of the correlation between boiling points and also n.

*

Figure 3: Touch Me, Touch Me

Here the daburned red lines represent the induced dipole-induced dipole interactions in between molecules. The even more interactions, the higher the boiling suggest.

See more: " So Foul And Fair A Day I Have Not Seen Meaning, Fair Is Foul, Foul Is Fair

Finally, it"s necessary to understand that the various forms of interactions we have been stating are not mutually exclusive. It is feasible to have numerous types of intermolecular interactions occuring simultaneously. In stating the solubility of 1-bromobutane in ethanol, we alluded to the concept that there were intermolecular forces in enhancement to dipole-dipole interactions. Figure 4 illustprices the concept.