Definition - What does Solvent mean?

A Solvent is a substance that can dissolve a solute and create a solution without causing chemical changes. Solvents are widely applied in processing materials, cleaning surfaces, separating materials and diluting materials. Although most solvents are in the liquid state, some can appear as solids or gases. In terms of composition, solvents can be inorganic (without carbon) or organic (with carbon). Water, the most common and widely used solvent, is inorganic.

Petropedia explains Solvent

The most widely used solvent is water. It is widely used for residential purposes as well as industrial purposes. However, when used for industrial purposes, it cannot be used as a direct solvent as it has the ability to aid corrosion, which may be harmful for metallic equipment in industries.

Various solutes are dissolved in water first and then used in the industrial processes. Solvents that are used in industries are organic solvents. Water is cheap, easily available and environmentally friendly, but it does not dissolve many of the substances used in various industries, which require organic solvents.

Various solvents that are used in the upstream and midstream sectors include:

  • Defoamers
  • Corrosion inhibitors
  • Emulsifiers
  • Drilling Detergents
  • Surfactants
  • Cleaners and rig washers.
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