In chemistry, hydrophobic or lipophilic species, or hydrophobes, tend to be electrically neutral and nonpolar, and thus prefer other neutral and nonpolar solvents or molecular environments. Hydrophobic is often used interchangeably with "oily" or "lipophilic".
Examples of hydrophobic molecules include the alkanes, oils, fats, and greasy substances in general. Hydrophobic materials are used for oil removal from water, the management of oil spills, and chemical separation processes to remove non-polar from polar compounds.
Compare: hydrophilic, hydrophobia.
Last updated: 07-30-2005 05:12:21