Polar and non Polar Compounds

The chemical polarity of a molecule dictates many of its properties, such as a polar molecule has a higher boiling point. Polarity is also involved in the interactions with other molecules, for example, water is a polar molecule, and easily dissolves other polar molecules such as sugar.

The electrons within atoms can cause attractions between molecules, which can create bonds. Compounds can be created through the bonding or attraction between different groups of atoms, such as hydrogen and oxygen in water. Non polar bonds between atoms are equal and stable as polar bonds have a charge, because one atom has taken an electron from its bonded atom.

Oils are non polar molecules, and share their electrons between two different atoms. There are many non polar organic solvents which can also dissolve polar compounds; an example of this is turpentine. Oil and water do not mix easily, and usually result in a partition in the two liquids, they can sometimes be combined with the help of an emulsifier, such as soap, this emulsifier can mix with both the polar water and the non polar oil, and this helps to mix the two together.

Solvents can be used to extract important polar and non polar chemicals from different materials, such as essential oils from plants can be extracted through dissolving in a non polar solvent. Highly non polar solvents are hexane, petroleum ether, and cyclohexane; slightly non polar solvents are chloroform, and dichloromethane. Lesser polar solvents are ethyl acetate, acetone, and acetonitrile; and highly polar solvents are methanol, water, and acetic acid.

So why is the polarity of a molecule important to us? Every cell in our body relies on polar and non polar interactions. Polar and non polar interactions give us a structure, such as hydrophobic properties of the fatty acids within the phospholipids which make up our membranes. Basically fatty acids are non polar, and phosphate is polar, and membranes are formed through the fatty acids dislike of water, which means they are attracted to each other in a way whereby the fatty acid tails are shielded in an outer barrier of phosphate, which form a membrane.

There is a high level of importance for the consumption of antioxidants within our diet, such as vitamin C, which binds to and reduces the destructive activities of aqueous peroxyl radicals. Many antioxidants are polar molecules because polar molecules such as water have extra charges, which increase their attraction to other molecules.