# Ionic compounds dissolve in nonpolar compounds?

I think ionic compounds dissolve in just about any compound including nonpolar. My reasoning is this:

Neutral electric charge attracts both positive and negative (This I know from doing things with static electricity and putting it on a neutral surface).

Ionic compounds like strong acids and bases disassociate into individual ions, or if it is not dissolved but melted ionic dimers (like an individual Na+Cl- dimer for example).

Do ionic compounds such as NaCl dissolve in just about every solvent from polar to nonpolar to liquid ionic?

First, I think you have some misconceptions about electrical charge. There isn't neutral charge, it's either positive or negative, if it doesn't have either, it has no charge. Why are you seeing static charge interaction with neutral surfaces? It might be polarization, where a charged particle warps the electron cloud around a neutral atom generating partial charges around the neutral atom. Without knowing more about your experiment I can't say more.

Meanwhile I did an experiment of my own. I took 5 20mL scintillation vials, and added about 0.5g of NaCl to each. I then added 5mL of deionized water, methanol, 200 proof denatured ethanol, isopropanol, or acetone to each vial and tried to dissolve the salt. Only water dissolved all of the salt. I can't say there isn't ANY salt dissolved in the other solvents, but clearly the solubility is solvent dependent, and only water is polar enough to dissolve all the salt.

• One of the best answers I've read on this site. – Dissenter Aug 14 '14 at 6:00
• I have watched videos about static electricity and they say that if something is electrically neutral it will attract both positive and negative which explains partly why some atoms are more stable when N > P where N is neutrons and P is protons. – Caters Aug 23 '14 at 11:32
• and I have done this experiment: I took a balloon and rubbed it in hair. charge exchange happened with the positively charged balloon and negatively charged hair. I then put it on a wall which is electrically neutral from both positive and negative touching it. The balloon was attracted to the wall because of the charge in the balloon and 0 charge in the wall. This proves that neutral attracts both positive and negative. – Caters Aug 23 '14 at 11:35
• Neutrons and protons in the nucleus of an atom are not held together by electrostatic forces. Neutrons play a role in nuclear stability, but they do it through the nuclear force, which is described here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_force I can only conjecture that your wall was not as neutral as you assumed. – user137 Aug 23 '14 at 19:53

I think ionic compounds dissolve in just about any compound including nonpolar. My reasoning is this:

Ionic compounds don't always dissolve in just about any compound. Consider sodium chloride. This isn't soluble in acetone.

Neutral electric charge attracts both positive and negative(This I know from doing things with static electricity and putting it on a neutral surface).

If something has no net charge (i.e. is neutral) it won't be electrically attracting anything. Only oppositely charged things attract.

Ionic compounds like strong acids and bases disassociate into individual ions(Or if it is not dissolved but melted ionic dimers(like an individual Na+Cl- dimer for example).

Not all strong acids or bases are ionic. Consider sulfuric acid. The S-O and O-H bonds, granted, have some ionic character, but are generally characterized as covalent. Also consider the halide series of binary acids - HCl, HBr, HI. Strength increases in that order, yet ionic character decreases in that order.

Plus a base isn't necessarily ionic. NaOH is an ionic salt, and yes, it's a strongly basic salt. But the hydroxide ion is also a strong base. In isolation, it's not ionic.

Also you should define what a dimer is before incorrectly applying it. The definition of a dimer according to IUPAC is:

The transformation of a molecular entity $\ce{A}$ to give a molecular entity $\ce{A2}$.

So no, the sodium and chloride ions cannot dimerize in the fashion you suggested - with sodium ion coming together with chloride ion. That's not dimerization. Now, if a chlorine radical joined with another chlorine radical, that would be dimerization, since both starting molecular entities are the same.

Do ionic compounds such as NaCl dissolve in just about every solvent from polar to nonpolar to liquid ionic?

No, and this has been illustrated by user137's excellent demonstration. And consider this table of solubility products. A bunch of ionic compounds, yes. But all of them are considered semi-soluble salts because of their low degree of dissociation into their constituent ions (hence the miniscule Ksp values).

• The "Ionic compounds like strong acids and bases disassociate into individual ions" doesn't mean all strong acids and bases are ionic but rather that just like how strong acids and bases disassociate into individual ions, ionic compounds disassociate into individual ions(assuming aqueous solution). – Caters Aug 14 '14 at 17:07
• Not all ionic compounds dissociate into individual ions in aqueous solution. Consider calcium fluoride. – Dissenter Aug 14 '14 at 17:19