Is CCl4 Soluble in Water? (+ 3 More Things to Know)

No, carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is not soluble in water. 1 It is a nonpolar compound, and water is a polar solvent. 2 The difference in polarity prevents effective interactions between CCl4 and water molecules, leading to very limited solubility.

Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.

So let’s dive right into it.

Key Takeaways: Is CCl4 Soluble in Water?

  • Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is insoluble in water due to the difference in polarity between CCl4 (nonpolar) and water (polar).
  • CCl4 can dissolve in certain nonpolar solvents like benzene, toluene, and diethyl ether due to their similar nonpolar nature.
  • The lack of polar bonds in CCl4 prevents favorable interactions with water molecules, resulting in low solubility and the formation of separate layers or droplets in water.

Why is CCl4 insoluble in water?

CCl4 (carbon tetrachloride) is insoluble in water due to the difference in polarity between the two substances. CCl4 is a nonpolar molecule, while water is a polar molecule. The lack of polar bonds in CCl4 prevents it from forming favorable interactions with water molecules, resulting in low solubility.

In more detail, CCl4 consists of four chlorine atoms symmetrically arranged around a central carbon atom. The electronegativity of chlorine is higher than that of carbon, 3 creating polar covalent bonds between carbon and chlorine. 

However, due to the symmetrical arrangement of the chlorine atoms, the polarity of each C-Cl bond cancels out, resulting in a nonpolar molecule overall. On the other hand, water is a polar molecule with an oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms.

The oxygen atom is significantly more electronegative than hydrogen, resulting in a partial negative charge on the oxygen atom and partial positive charges on the hydrogen atoms. These partial charges in water molecules allow for the formation of hydrogen bonds and other attractive interactions between water molecules.

When CCl4 is added to water, the nonpolar CCl4 molecules do not experience significant attractions with the polar water molecules. The polarity mismatch between CCl4 and water leads to minimal interactions, resulting in low solubility. Instead, CCl4 tends to aggregate and form a separate layer or droplets in water, with only a small amount dissolving.

Can CCl4 dissolve in other solvents?

Yes, CCl4 (carbon tetrachloride) can dissolve in certain nonpolar solvents. Since CCl4 is a nonpolar molecule itself, it exhibits better solubility in other nonpolar solvents compared to water. Nonpolar solvents such as benzene, chloroform, ether, etc can dissolve CCl4 relatively well. 4

In nonpolar solvents, CCl4 can experience favorable intermolecular interactions due to the absence of significant differences in electronegativity between the solvent molecules. The nonpolar nature of CCl4 allows it to mix and dissolve in these nonpolar solvents, creating a homogeneous solution.

The solubility of CCl4 in nonpolar solvents is influenced by factors such as temperature and the nature of the specific solvent. 5 For example, as temperature increases, the solubility of CCl4 in certain nonpolar solvents may also increase due to increased molecular motion and greater chances of interaction between CCl4 and the solvent molecules.

It’s important to note that while CCl4 may dissolve in certain nonpolar solvents, it should be handled with caution due to its toxicity and environmental concerns.

Further reading

Is ZnS Soluble in Water?
Is ZnCl2 Soluble in Water?
Is AgI Soluble in Water?
Is Bronze Magnetic?
Why is Galvanized Steel Magnetic?

About author

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  1. P. (n.d.). Carbon Tetrachloride. Carbon Tetrachloride | CCl4 | CID 5943 – PubChem.
  2. Is CCl4 Polar or Non-polar? (Carbon Tetrachloride). (2018, April 5). YouTube.
  3. P. (n.d.). Electronegativity | Periodic Table of Elements. Electronegativity | Periodic Table of Elements – PubChem.
  4. Carbon tetrachloride – Wikipedia. (2022, June 14). Carbon Tetrachloride – Wikipedia.
  5. Solubility. (n.d.). Solubility.

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