So I have a pretty simple understanding the solubility, basically choose dissolves like. Indigenous my basic understanding that electronegativity and also molecule form acetone is a polar molecule, and also styrene, and also I'm guessing native this polystyrene is non-polar. Ns googled this, and also I found something that claimed it was pertained to cohesive power densities, and also that this term is pertained to polarity, yet I'm quiet confused. Therefore my question is why does acetone dissolve styrofoam once they appear to be a mix the polar/non-polar? CP come ELI5


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level 1
· 5y
Styrofoam is made up of polystyrene foam. As soon as the polystyrene disappear in the acetone, the wait in the foam is released, bring about it come look choose you're dissolve this substantial quantity that material right into a small volume that liquid. You can see a less-dramatic variation of the same effect by dissolving various other polystyrene items in acetone. Typical polystyrene products include disposable razors, plastic yogurt containers, plastic mailers and also cd jewel cases. The plastic dissolves in just around any organic solvent, not just acetone. Acetone is uncovered in part nail polish removers. If you can't discover this product, you can dissolve styrofoam in gasoline just as easily.

You are watching: Why does polystyrene dissolve in acetone

Taken directly from this website, believed it was a pretty good explanation.

https://www.thoughtco.com/dissolving-styrofoam-in-acetone-608924


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level 2
· 5y
Computational

you might dissolve styrofoam in gasoline

I love the odor of napalm in the morning!


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Op · 5y

I evaluate your explanation, yet I was an ext looking because that why it dissolves not how.


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level 1
· 5y

TL;DR: it's entropic favored, not necessarily enthalpic.

like dissolves like

Well, this is wherein chemistry it s okay a small tricky, i do not care a 'case by case' study, and starts having much more exceptions to a preeminence than something else. 'Like dissolves like' is a good rule that thumb, however should be approached v care.

As with many systems, this one will try to minimization its complete energy. For a simple dissolution choose this, there space two materials that pat a most vital role, intermolecular shortcut energy and also the system's entropy.

What you room thinking, around 'like dissolves like', is the ELI5 version of the first part, to decrease intermolecular bond energy. I'll provide some more drastic and easy to understand examples, 보다 come back to acetone + polystyrene.

In a situation such as water + hydrocarbons (such as oil), they don't mix due to the fact that the water-water interaction has actually much lower energy than a water-hydrocarbon bond. Water-hydrocarbon bond (permanent dipole-induced dipole interaction) still has actually lower energy than hydrocarbon-hydrocarbon (van der Waals), however not reduced than water-water, for this reason the mixing won't happen.

For a mixture that ethanol and water, because that example, castle mix due to the fact that the hydrogen bonding in water-ethanol is lot stronger than in ethanol-ethanol, and also of comparable strength come water-water. This method that the energy in the mixture is lower than because that the the separated compounds.

Things get exciting for salts. Because that example, for sodium chloride, you shouldn't really suppose that it would dissolve in water. You room breaking ion-ion and hydrogen bonds to produce a dipole-ion bond. When ion-dipole bonds are strong, ion-ion (coulombic) space still stronger, and also in fact, a sodium chloride equipment has much more energy 보다 the be separated compounds. What cd driver dissolution, in this case, is the increase in entropy. Special, the ion in solution have actually many an ext ways to be arranged than in the solid state. This method that the solution has actually a 'higher disorder' (higher entropy), and is favored contrasted to the separated compounds. This is also aided by the fact that the ion-dipole interaction, in this case, is of equivalent strength to the ion-ion and hydrogen bonds, for this reason the mechanism doesn't have to obtain too much power in stimulate to accomplish dissolution.

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This last situation is identical to acetone + polystyrene. When acetone is polar, the partially confident carbon of the C=O shortcut is hindered by the methyl (CH3) groups, such that the molecules' dipoles don't interact so strongly. Polystyrene additionally has weak intermolecular interaction (van der Waals). I'm no actually certain if the solution has a reduced or higher energy 보다 the be separated compounds, however in either case, it need to be close come zero, due to the fact that acetone actually has an apolar part, and would interact quite well v the apolar chains of polystyrene. But just as in the situation of NaCl, over there is a substantial increase in entropy upon dissolution, since the chains are now able to move much much more freely.