Water Revision Notes

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  • Water
    • As a solvent...
      • Living organisms obtain key elements from aqueous solutions
      • Water molecules attract ions and other molecules and then dissolve in water so chemical reactions occur
      • Attracts as a transport medium e.g Water transports minerals in the xylem and sucrose and amino acids in the phloem
    • Water is a metabolite...
      • It is used in many biochemical reactions as a reactant e.g With CO2 to produce glucose in photosynthesis
      • Many reactions involve hydrolysis
      • In condensationreactions, water is a product
    • Has a high specific heat capacity...
      • Large amount of heat energy is needed to raise its temperature
      • Hydrogen bonds restrict movement which restricts an increase in kinetic energy and therefore resisting temp. rise
      • Prevents fluctuations in water so aquatic habitats remain stable and it allows enzymes within cells to work effectively as they d not have to adapt
    • High latent heat of vaporisation...
      • A large amount of heat energy is required to change it from a liquid to a vapour
      • Important in temperature control where heat is used to vaporise water from sweat on the skin
      • Provides benefit for aquatic organisms as so much energy would be required to vaporise the water that aquatic habitats rarely evaporate away
    • Cohesion...
      • Hydrogen bonds are strong, due to there being many of them, the molecules stick together in a lattice
      • Allows columns of water to be drawn up xylem vessels
    • High surface tension...
      • At ordinary room temperature it has the highest surface tension except mercury
      • Cohesion between molecules at the surface produces tension and allows the body of an insect to be supported
    • High density...
      • As a habitat for aquatic organisms it provides support bouyancy
      • Ice is less dense due to hydrogen bonds holding water molecules further aapart
      • Ice is a good insulator and prevents large bodies of water from losing heat so organisms can survive


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