Q:

Why doesn't oil and water mix?

A:

Quick Answer

Oil and water don't mix because water molecules have a small positive charge at one end, and a small negative charge at the other end, so they stick to each other. But oil molecules are without charge, which causes them to be attracted to each other more than water.

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Full Answer

Oil floats on water since it is less dense than water, according to the National Science and Technology Center of Australia. Water molecules are attracted to each other because they are polar, but oil molecules are non polar. Animals that live in rivers or cold environments keep warm because their skin or feathers have an oily coat to keep the water away.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why doesn't oil dissolve in water?

    A:

    Oil will not dissolve in water because water forms a polar covalent bond and oil forms a non-covalent bond. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in chemistry molecules dissolve with other molecules that share similar characteristics.

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  • Q:

    What are polar liquids?

    A:

    Polar liquids are made up of covalently bonded molecules that each have a partial positive charge on one end and a partial negative charge on the other end. They can dissolve solids that are made of polar molecules but cannot combine with a substance made of nonpolar molecules.

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  • Q:

    How do emulsifiers work?

    A:

    Emulsifiers work by acting as a link between water molecules and nonpolar molecules, attracting the water with one end and the emulsified molecules with the other. They are made by bonding fatty acids, which attract hydrophobic substances, to a hydrophilic polar group, which attracts water molecules. Normally, substances like oil and water would separate out, even after thorough mixing, but emulsifiers keep the molecules evenly distributed.

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  • Q:

    What substances dissolve in water?

    A:

    Any ionic compound in which the force of attraction between the oppositely charged ions is weaker than the force of attraction that water molecules exert on each ion, dissolves in water. Water is known as the universal solvent because it dissolves more compounds than any other chemical known.

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