In a very general sense, solvents are a class of chemical compounds that allow chemistry to occur. The concept of a solvent has significant ramifications because they serve as the matrix, medium, or carrier for solutes. They are necessary in a number of processes, reactions, and systems. We tend to think of a substance like “water” as a universal solvent because it is so useful in so many disciplines. Water cleans up everything, allows biochemical reactions to occur, is used in paints, coatings, and films, allows cooking to occur (or else everything would catch fire), and provides lubrication and ease of movement for a great many devices.