Difference WikiChemistry

Difference Between Hydrophobic Molecules and Hydrophilic Molecules

Main Difference

The main difference between Hydrophobic Molecules and Hydrophilic Molecules is that Hydrophobic Molecules are water-repellent, whereas Hydrophilic Molecules are water-loving.

Hydrophobic Molecules vs. Hydrophilic Molecules

Hydrophobic molecules are considered as nonpolar molecules, while hydrophilic molecules elaborated as polar molecules. Hydrophobic molecules are considered molecules that do not absorb in water easily, whereas hydrophilic molecules are the molecules that can absorb in water easily. Hydrophobic molecules are also called hydrophobes; on the other hand, hydrophilic molecules are also called hydrophiles.

Hydrophobic molecules resist water molecules in the solution; on the contrary, hydrophilic molecules fascinate water molecules in the solution. The Gibbs free energy developed a positive value when hydrophobic molecules added to water; conversely, the Gibbs free energy developed a negative value when hydrophilic molecules added to water. The entropy of hydrophobic molecules decreased when molecules added to water; on the flip side, the entropy of hydrophilic molecules increased when molecules added to water.

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The dissolving process of hydrophobic molecules in water is considered an endothermic reaction; on the other hand, the dissolving process of hydrophilic molecules in water considered an exothermic reaction. Some examples of hydrophobic molecules are lipids, fats, and oils, whereas hydrophilic molecules are salt, sugar, and water. Passive diffusion occurs in hydrophobic molecules in various cellular activities, while facilitated diffusion occurs in hydrophilic molecules.

Comparison Chart

Hydrophobic MoleculesHydrophilic Molecules
Molecules that do not soften in water are known as hydrophobic moleculesMolecules that can easily get absorbed in water are known as hydrophilic molecules
Other Names
Also called hydrophobesAlso called hydrophiles
Interaction With Water
Resist water molecules in the solutionFascinate water molecules in the solution
Polarity
Nonpolar moleculesPolar molecules
Gibbs Free Energy
Develops a positive value when hydrophobic molecules added to waterDevelops a negative value when hydrophilic molecules added to water
Change In Entropy
Entropy decreased when molecules added to waterEntropy increased when molecules added to water
Type of Reaction
An endothermic reactionAn exothermic reaction
Diffusion Process
Passive diffusionFacilitated diffusion
Examples
Lipids, fats, and oilsSalt, sugar, and water
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What are Hydrophobic Molecules?

The term hydrophobic molecules considered as the molecules that do not absorb in water easily. Hence, these molecules are water-repellent. Hydrophobic molecules also considered hydrophobes. The hydrophobicity of hydrophobic molecules explains that how many hydrophobic molecules are. Because of the non-polarity of hydrophobic molecules, they considered hydrophobic.

In other sense, hydrophilic molecules are generally non-polar—non-polar molecules made of a long chain of hydrocarbon groups. Hydrophobic molecules form a micelle that looks like a clump in shape to have a slight interaction with water whenever hydrophobic molecules added to water. But water molecules arrange themselves around these clumps of hydrophobic molecules to produce a cage. When the micelle is produced, the hydrogen bonds break, which are present in water molecules to make some area for the clump to reside.

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As chemical bond like hydrogen bond is broken down in this reaction and releases energy, so it is considered as an endothermic reaction, and this whole process causes the entropy of the system to decrease. The special form of collaboration that happens between hydrophobic molecules is generally the Van der Waal interface because they are usually nonpolar. The clumps of hydrophobic molecules present in the water get to combine and mix to lessen the further connection with water.

As the hydrogen bonds present between the water molecules which tend to surround the clumps of hydrophobic molecules cause to produce positive value for the enthalpy change, and the enthalpy of the system further increased because of breakage of cages that water molecules from around the clumps to liberate hydrophobes. Examples of hydrophobic molecules are lipids, fats, and oils.

What are Hydrophilic Molecules?

The term hydrophilic molecules describe that these molecules can easily dissolve in water because they are water-loving, and they attract water molecules. Hydrophilic molecules are also considered as hydrophiles because they are usually the polar molecules which get absorbed in water. Hydrophilic molecules considered to form various chemical bonds with water.

Hydrophilic molecules, if made of O-H or N-H bonds then they will form hydrogen bonds with water and completely get dissolved in water. Because of the mixing of the hydrophilic molecules in water, then the entropy of the system tends to increase.

Meanwhile, new bonds produced between the water and the hydrophilic molecules, so this is an exothermic reaction, but the alteration that will occur in enthalpy will be negative. The Gibbs free energy developed a negative value when hydrophilic molecules added to water indicates that this reaction is spontaneous. The variance between the electronegative values of the atoms present in chemical bonds is the main cause of increasing the polarization between different molecules. Examples of hydrophilic are salt, sugar, and water.

Key Differences

  1. Hydrophobic molecules are recognized as nonpolar molecules, while hydrophilic molecules are known as polar molecules.
  2. The molecules that could not engross easily in water are generally considered as hydrophobic molecules, whereas the molecules that can easily absorb in water are deliberated as hydrophilic molecules.
  3. Hydrophobic molecules are also called hydrophobes; on the other hand, hydrophilic molecules are also called hydrophiles.
  4. Hydrophobic molecules act as water-repulsive; on the contrary, hydrophilic molecules act as water- affectionate.
  5. The positive value of hydrophobic molecules is developed by Gibbs free energy; conversely, the negative value of hydrophilic molecules is developed by Gibbs free energy.
  6. The entropy is decreased in hydrophobic molecules; on the flip side, the entropy is increased in hydrophilic molecules.
  7. The process of hydrophobic molecules which are dissolved in water is considered as an endothermic reaction; on the other hand, the process of hydrophilic molecules which are dissolved in water is considered as an exothermic reaction.
  8. Lipids, fats, and oils are some examples of hydrophobic molecules, whereas salt, sugar, and water are examples of hydrophilic molecules.
  9. In hydrophobic molecules, the process of passive diffusion arises, while in hydrophilic molecules, the process of facilitated diffusion happens.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the hydrophobic molecules are water-repellent and are non-polar, whereas hydrophilic molecules are water-loving and are polar molecules.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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