Why are alkanes generally unreactive with ionic reagents in aqueous solution?

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  • Created by: Justin
  • Created on: 13-04-13 21:45


Bond enthalpies of Carbon single bonds (C-C) and Carbon Hydrogen bonds (C-H) are relatively high so the bonds in alkanes are difficult to break. In addition these bonds are non-polar and the water has polar bonds, this means the dipole induced dipole interactions of the alkanes aren't enough to overcome the waters polar dipole interactions with itself so the ionic compound is hydrophilic. When there are two polar compounds they mix because the dipole interactions are equal. These polar ionic compounds are known as hydrophobic.

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