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Hydrogen bonding in water and ice

7 years ago

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Hydrogen bonding in water and ice:- Because of the polar nature of water molecule, the water molecules are held together by intermolecular hydrogen bonds in water. As a result, the water molecules joined together in an extensive three dimensional network. In this arrangement each oxygen is tetrahedrally surrounded by four hydrogen atoms, two by four hydrogen atoms, two by covalent bonds and two by hydrogen bonds. Experimental studies have shown that liquid water and ice consist of aggregates of varying number of water molecules held together by hydrogen bonds. The resulting structure of ice is open structure having a number of vacant spaces. Therefore, the density of ice is less. When the ice melts, some of the hydrogen bonds are broken and water molecules go in between the vacant space in the structure. As a result, the structure of liquid water is less open than structure if ice. Therefore, the density of water is more than that of ice. In other words, the density of ice is less than that of water and ice floats over water.


It may be note that water has maximum density at 4oC. This property is very helpful for aquatic life. In severe cold. The upper layer of the sea water freezes. The heavier water is present below the surface of ice. The ice layer formed on the surface of a lake in winter does not sink to the bottom. In fact, this provides a thermal insulation for the water below it. The sea animals can live safely in water under these conditions. Thus, it ensures the survival of the aquatic life.

7 years ago

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