Protic solvent

A protic solvent is a solvent that has a hydrogen atom bound to an oxygen (as in a hydroxyl group), a nitrogen (as in an amine group), or fluoride (as in hydrogen fluoride). In general terms, any solvent that contains a labile H+ is called a protic solvent. The molecules of such solvents readily donate protons (H+) to solutes, often via hydrogen bonding. Water is the most common protic solvent. Conversely, polar aprotic solvents cannot donate protons but still have the ability to dissolve many salts.

Solvent Chemical formula Boiling point Dielectric constant Density Dipole moment (D)
Polar protic solvents
formic acid HCO2H 101 °C 58 1.21 g/mL 1.41 D
n-butanol CH3CH2CH2CH2OH 118 °C 18 0.810 g/mL 1.63 D
isopropanol (IPA) (CH3)2CH(OH) 82 °C 18 0.785 g/mL 1.66 D
nitromethane CH3NO2 101°C 35.87 1.1371 g/mL 3.56 D
ethanol (EtOH) CH3CH2OH 79 °C 24.55 0.789 g/mL 1.69 D
methanol (MeOH) CH3OH 65 °C 33 0.791 g/mL 1.70 D
Acetic acid (AcOH) CH3CO2H 118 °C 6.2 1.049 g/mL 1.74 D
Water H2O 100 °C 80 1.000 g/mL 1.85 D

See also


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