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When oxygen is bubbled through water it partially dissolves in the water. Explain this...

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mattlimey | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:12 AM via web

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When oxygen is bubbled through water it partially dissolves in the water. Explain this in terms of the bonding of oxygen and water.

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llltkl | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:53 AM (Answer #1)

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Oxygen (`O_2` ) is a nonpolar homonuclear diatomic molecule and water (`H_2O` ) is a polar molecule. When a polar molecule approaches a nonpolar molecule, it can induce a dipole moment in `O_2` by distorting its molecular electron cloud. The permanent dipole of water can then interact with such induced dipoles so that both of them come pretty close and dissolve to a certain degree (see the attached image). At `20^oC` , oxygen has a solubility of about 9 ppm in pure water. With rise in temperature, this value falls off.

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