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The melting points and solubility in water of amino acids are generally higher than that of the corresponding halo acids. Explain.

Asked by Aayushi Naik(student) , on 4/7/10


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EXPERT ANSWER

Both acidic (carboxyl) as well as basic (amino) groups are present in the same molecule of amino acids. In aqueous solutions, the carboxyl group can lose a proton and the amino group can accept a proton, thus giving rise to a dipolar ion known as a zwitter ion.

Due to this dipolar behaviour, they have strong electrostatic interactions within them and with water. But halo-acids do not exhibit such dipolar behaviour.

For this reason, the melting points and the solubility of amino acids in water is higher than those of the corresponding halo-acids.

Posted by Prerna Bansal(MeritNation Expert)on 5/7/10

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