• Usually, what organic molecules are soluble in water?
Alcohols, carboxylic acids, carboxylic acid chlorides, amines, esters are usually soluble in water.
• Are organic substances soluble in water?
Most organic molecules are typically relatively non-polar and are usually soluble in organic
solvents (e.g. ethyl acetate, diethyl ether, dichloromethane, chloroform, petroleum ether, hexanes etc.)
but less soluble or insoluble in polar solvents like water.
ORGANIC SOLUTES INTRODUCTION INTO WATER
• How do organic chemicals get into water?
• How do VOCs get in water?
1. Most VOCs enter the water supply directly as a result of human activity.
2. Improper disposal of volatile organic compounds causes them to leach into the ground.
3. Once they've infiltrated the groundwater, they can migrate from aquifers to lakes and reservoirs.
• Which organic compound is most soluble in water?
• The solubility of an organic compound in water decreases as the carbon chain gets longer. This means
compound which has a longer carbon chain, will be less soluble than compound with shorter carbon
ORGANIC SOLUTES PRESENCE
• Organic solutes are mainly man-made synthetic compounds that are manufactured and used for various
purposes in many industries in day to day life.
• Usually the organic solutes are present in the pesticides, gasoline, dry cleaning solvents, etc
• DDT – insecticide
Phenol – disinfectant, intermediate in industrial synthesis
Chlorophenol – pesticides & herbicides.
PRODUCTION OF ORGANIC SOLUTES
• Chlorophenols are produced by electrophilic halogenation of phenol with chlorine. Most chlorophenols
are solid at room temperature. They have a strong, medicinal taste and smell. Chlorophenols are
commonly used as pesticides, herbicides, and disinfectants.
• Phenol is derived from benzene and propylene. These raw materials are first used to produce cumene,
which is then oxidised to become cumene hydroperoxide, before being split into phenol and its co-
• DDT is made by condensing chloral hydrate with chlorobenzene in concentrated sulphuric acid. It was
first synthesized in 1874, but it was not until 1939 that Müller and his coworkers discovered its
OTHER IMPORTANT ORGANIC SOLUTES
• Benzene - Benzene is produced from petroleum and coal via catalytic reforming, steam cracking and
toluene disproportionation processes, as well as coal processing. Industries use benzene to make other
chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used
to make some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides.
• Propane - Propane is produced as a by-product of two other processes, natural gas processing and
petroleum refining. The processing of natural gas involves removal of butane, propane, and large
amounts of ethane from the raw gas, to prevent condensation of these volatiles in natural gas pipelines.
Propane uses in everyday life include home heating, cooking, hot water heaters, gas fireplaces and
clothes drying. Home everyday outdoor life uses include patio heaters, pool heaters, backup generators,
and as BBQ fuel. For some people, it also includes vehicle fuel, with LPG cars and vehicles.
• Acetaldehyde – It occurs naturally in coffee, bread, and ripe fruit, and is produced by plants. It is also
produced by the partial oxidation of ethanol by the liver enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. Acetaldehyde
is primarily used to produce other chemicals, including acetic acid and disinfectants, drugs and
• Methanol – Methanol is produced from petroleum product (synthesis gas) via hydrogenation of CO and
CO2, and reversed water—gas shift reaction. It is used as a feedstock to produce chemicals such as
acetic acid and formaldehyde.
• Formamide - The manufacture of formamide involves either the carbonylation of ammonia: CO +
NH3 → HCONH. It is used as a feedstock in the manufacture of formate esters, as an ionizing solvent, as
an RNA stabilizer in gel electrophoresis, and in tissue preservation.
• Methylammonium - Methylamine is prepared commercially by the reaction of ammonia with
methanol in the presence of an aluminosilicate catalyst. It is used primarily to prepare light absorbing
semiconductors for perovskite solar cells.
IMPACTS OF ORGANIC SOLUTES
• Organic solutes usually enter the living systems mainly via food because of bioaccumulation and it is
transferred to organisms of higher trophic levels due to biomagnification.
• Most organic solutes have a long lasting life within a living system and can cause significant toxic effects
to the organism by impairing the health and can also be fatal when the exposure is chronic and or
• Organic solutes easily mix with water and their movement is facilitated by the solubility in water.
• They pose a hazardous threat to life forms and also their presence can affect the hydrosphere,
lithosphere badly if left untreated.
• Some important organic solutes and their effects on human life:
1. DDT - Exposure to high doses, human symptoms can include vomiting, tremors or shakiness, and seizures.
2. Phenol - Phenol is considered to be quite toxic to humans via oral exposure. Anorexia, progressive weight
loss, diarrhea, vertigo, salivation, a dark coloration of the urine, and blood and liver effects have been
reported in chronically exposed humans.
3. Chlorophenol - Chlorophenol exposure affects the nervous system. Workers who were exposed to high
levels of chlorophenols experienced tremors, convulsions (spasms), and central nervous system depression
(drowsiness, lack of coordination).
4. Benzene - Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells,
leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system.
5. Propane - High concentration can displace oxygen in the air. If less oxygen is available to breathe, symptoms
such as rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, clumsiness, emotional upsets and fatigue can result. As less oxygen
becomes available, nausea and vomiting, collapse, convulsions, coma and death can occur.
• As organic solutes are very much into the industrial uses and also a main component of the
agrochemicals, its use cannot be stopped unless there are alternatives which have lesser impact over
the environment and life on Earth.
• So safe methods of disposal and handling of these organic solutes are to be strictly followed to avoid
and safeguard from the harmful effects.