What is solvent, classification, Physicochemical properties of solvent,Health hazards of solvents,Application of solvents?



  • Solvent is a substance which dissolves the solute in the solution.
  • It is used to dissolve the solute.
  • Water is used to dissolve much number of substances so water is known as the universal solvent.
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Solute + Solvent = Solution

For example, The sugar solution can be made by dissolving sugar crystals in water. Here, Sugar crystals are solute, water is the solvent used.


The solvent can be classified as

  • Polar solvent
  • Non Polar solvent
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“Like dissolves Like”

  1. Polar solvent:

The substance which dissolves in polar solvent is known as polar molecules.

For Example, Water.

2. Non Polar solvent:

The substance which do not dissolve in water is known as non polar molecules.

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For Example, The aromatic compounds such as alcohols, amines, ketones, esters etc.,

Physicochemical properties of solvent:

Evaporation rate : The time required to change of solvent from liquid to vapour.

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Vapour pressure : The pressure of a liquid is in equilibrium with vapor at a given temperature.

Boiling point : The temperature at which the vapor pressure equal to the atmospheric pressure.

Explosive limit : The potential for explosion.

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Health hazards of solvents:

  • The short term exposure to solvents may cause irritation in eye, lungs and skin, headache, dizziness.
  • Organic solvents are carcinogenic, reproductive hazards and neurotoxins.
  • The long term exposure to solvents may cause liver, brain and kidney damage.
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Application of solvents:

  • Solvents are used to dissolve paints, pigments.
  • It is used as thinning agent.
  • It is used to clean automobile parts, tools and electronic goods.

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