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Hydrophobic Interactions

Water is a dispersing medium for organic compounds which have non-polar(Hydrophobic) and polar (hydrophilic) groups. Such compounds that show a dual behavior are called amphipathic. They form micellae when dissolved in water. The COOH group are hydrophilic, negatively charged and exposed to the water phase, and the non-polar group are negatively charged and form micellar structures.

Physical properties

High latent heat of fusion  Organisms contain a good amount of water in their body and when it evaporates, it provides cooling capacity to regulate body temperature.

High heat capacity
  Water gets heated up very slowly and it loses heat very slowly. This capacity undoubtedly helps the cell to protect itself from thermal destruction, thus thermal adjustment are no problem.

physical properties 1

High dielectric constant  The ability of water to behave as good solvent is based on its dielectric constant. solubility of ionic substances in water is due to its high dielectric constant, which is measure of its tendency to orient its molecules in an electrical field and depends on the dipole moment of individual molecules. Hydrogen is positively charged and oxygen is negatively charged, hence the water molecules shows a tendency to orient itself.

High boiling point  Water possesses a high boiling point and for this reason it does not form vapour at ordinary temperatures. Boiling reduces the tendency of formation of groups of water molecules, hence at the boiling point, water is composed of independent molecules.

High heat of vaporization  Boiling point of water is high (100oC) and in order to vaporize it a large amount of calories are needed.

physical properties 2

High surface tension  Because of this property, the movement of water through soil and plant cells is very rapid. In plants water rises to great heights due to capillary action. Surface tension is lowered by substances dissolved in water.

High viscosity  Water is quite viscous and this property also helps in the movement of water through plant cells.
Crystallization of water   Water crystallizes in the solid state through hydrogen bonding. When it melts, a few of these bonds ate broken. As water is heated up, more of these bonds are broken up, and at 4oC Water exhibits maximum density owing to packing of smaller association groups, but increased kinetic energy or molecular motion results in expansion and cause the density of water to decrease progressively at higher temperatures.

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