Water. What properties does it have?

Water is the basis of life. It accounts for about 65% of the human body. It regulates blood pressure, cleanses the body of toxins, and maintains an appropriate body temperature. To stay healthy, we should drink about 2 liters of water a day. What properties does it have? In what states of aggregation does it occur?

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1. Properties of water

Water (hydrogen oxide) is a chemical compound that is liquid under standard conditions. It can also be in the gaseous state as water vapor or in the solid state - as ice. The term water as the name of a chemical compound refers to all its states of aggregation.

It is the main inorganic compound that is part of all living organisms. The properties of water have a large and direct impact on the functioning of every organism.

We can define water by the formula H₂O. It is an excellent solvent for polar substances. The vast majority of it occurs on Earth as salt, i.e. it contains a lot of dissolved salts (mainly sodium chloride).

Its natural form contains dissolved atmospheric gases, the majority of which are carbon dioxide. Usually, it must be treated before it is used, and this applies to both industrial and drinking water.

It is one of the most common chemicals in nature. Hydrogen oxide is the most durable oxide of all aerobes.

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A water particle is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Due to the polar structure of water molecules, it is possible to form hydrogen bonds between them.

These bonds form pairs of electrons moving towards the oxygen atom. The angle between the atoms that make up the water particle is 105 degrees. The presence of angles and polarized bonds between atoms causes a water molecule to be called a dipole.

The water particle has two poles: negative and positive. Charged positively is located on the side of the oxygen atom, and negatively on the side of the hydrogen atoms.

Weak electrostatic interactions appear between the oppositely charged poles in the water particle. Hydrogen bonds are formed, thanks to which the water molecule has a three-dimensional and ordered structure.

Due to hydrogen bonds, water has certain properties. These are:

  • high surface tension;
  • high heat capacity;
  • high heat of vaporization.

Surface tension is a physical phenomenon, which consists in the creation of forces at the contact of a liquid with a solid, other liquid or gas. As a result, it is difficult to immerse bodies that are not susceptible to this liquid.

The high heat capacity (the amount of heat that the system exchanges with the environment when the temperature changes by 1 K) means that water protects the cells from sudden changes in temperature.

The high heat of vaporization (the amount of energy that is needed to evaporate a unit of water) is used by the body to prevent overheating and to cool the bodies.

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2. The biological importance of water

Water is a common solvent for body compounds as well as a necessary supplement to the food of every known organism. It takes part in the course of most metabolic reactions, it is a means of intracorporeal transport (e.g. of nutrients, enzymes, hormones and metabolic products).

It constitutes from 60-70% of the mass of an adult human (in newborns it will be even 85-90%). Moreover, its water is 90% of blood plasma, 90% of leaves, 60-70% of lymph, 20% of bones. In 2008, over a billion people did not have access to drinking water. Due to the lack of clean water, a lot of people die every day, the largest group of which are children.

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