Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity of C2H5OH Lewis Structure

Ethanol (C2H5OH) is an organic chemical molecule that can be simply referred to as alcohol. CH3-CH2-OH is another name for the chemical.

Ethanol is a colourless liquid with a strong odour and flavour. It possesses combustible qualities, and when burned, it produces a blue flame.

Here are various methods for making ethanol:

C2H4+H2SO4         ——->       CH3CH2SO4H

CH3CH2SO4H       +       H20        ———->       CH3CH2OH      +      H2SO4

C6H12O6       ——–>      2CH3CH2OH     +      2CO2

C12H22O11     +      H20      ——->       4CH3CH2OH       +      4CO2

The compound’s molecular weight is 46.07 g/mol. The boiling point of ethanol is 78.2 degrees Celsius, and the melting point is -114.1 degrees Celsius.

Let’s learn more about the chemical from several angles, such as its 2D and 3D representation, polarity, and so on.

C2H5OH Lewis Structure

The Lewis structure of a compound is a representation of all the bonds and lone pairs of distinct atoms. This is a two-dimensional depiction that aids in our understanding of the compound’s qualities.

Let’s take it step by step and learn how to make the Lewis Structure of C2H5OH.

Step 1: Determine each atom’s valence electrons.

The electrons linked to the atom’s outer shell are known as valence electrons.

Three distinct atoms, C, O, and H, are present.

Because one carbon atom has four valence electrons and we have two carbon atoms, the total valence electrons on C are 4*2 = 8.

We can also find it for the atoms of Oxygen and Hydrogen.

For oxygen, the valence electrons are equal to 6.

The number of valence electrons for hydrogen is one, and we have six hydrogen atoms, hence the total number of valence electrons is six.

The number of electrons in hydrogen is 6*1 = 6.

As a result, the Ethanol compound has a total of = 8+6+6 = 20 valence electrons.

Let’s move on to the next phase in creating a Lewis structure.

Making the electron dot structure is the second step.

The central atom is Carbon, and the adjacent atoms are Oxygen and Hydrogen.

From the diagram, you can see how this compound’s bonds are formed. But, for the sake of clarity, let us go over it in greater depth.

To achieve stability, hydrogen can share one electron with the other atoms.

To fulfil the octet rule and achieve further stability, carbon and oxygen each require 8 electrons in their outer shells. The first carbon atom makes four bonds, one with another carbon atom and the others with hydrogen atoms. Because it has 8 electrons in its outermost shell, this carbon atom is stable in nature.

Four bonds are formed by the second carbon atom. Two of the bonds are with hydrogen atoms, while the other two are with nearby Carbon atoms and Oxygen atoms.

Because Oxygen has six valence electrons, when it shares two electrons with Carbon and Hydrogen, the oxygen atom is left with two lone pairs of electrons.

For ethanol, this is the most stable electron dot structure that can be generated or exists.

We may now go on to the other aspects of the compound now that we’ve seen how the Lewis structure is formed.

C2H5OH hybridization

What does Ethanol hybridization entail?

Hybridization occurs when two atomic orbitals with the same energy levels combine to generate new hybrid orbitals.

Checking how many atoms are associated with a given carbon atom is the simplest approach to determine hybridization in a carbon complex.

We’ve previously drawn the Lewis Dot Structure of the chemical, so we can see how many bonds are formed visually.

This chemical has two carbon atoms.

The initial carbon atom is linked to four other atoms: three hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom. For this particular carbon atom, hybridization is hence sp3.

The second carbon atom is linked to four other atoms: one oxygen, one carbon, and two hydrogen atoms.

For this specific carbon atom, the hybridization has reached sp3.

Considering the bond angle and bond formation, even the oxygen atom possesses sp3 hybridization. The oxygen atom makes four bonds: one with hydrogen, one with carbon, and the remaining two are sp3 hybridised orbitals with two lone pairs of electrons.

As a result, we can conclude that ethanol’s total hybridization state is sp3.

Now that we’ve seen how this combination hybridises, let’s look at the molecular geometry of ethanol in more depth.

C2H5OH Molecular Geometry

We can’t only look at one facet of a compound to get a deeper understanding of it.

We can figure out the 2D representation of ethanol using Lewis structure, but we can also figure out the 3D structure of the chemical. This allows us to investigate the compound’s various properties and behaviour.

Let’s look at how we may determine ethanol’s molecular geometry and how it appears in plane space.

The VSEPR, or Valence shell electron pair repulsion hypothesis, is the best approach to determine the molecular geometry of any chemical.

We can determine the molecular geometry, bond length, and bond angle of any compound using the VSEPR theory.

Let’s look at how to determine the geometry of the compound in this case, which is ethanol.

The chart that was utilised to arrive at this conclusion is as follows:


According to the idea, the number of bonding and nonbonding pairs of electrons around the core atom determines the structure of any molecule.

To reduce the repulsion between distinct bonds, the molecule will take the shape that is most suitable and stable.

The carbon atoms in this molecule contain four bonds, hence the form should be tetrahedral, according to the chart. However, the oxygen atom possesses two bonds and two lone pairs of electrons.

The oxygen atom will now have a bent molecular shape and a tetrahedral electron geometry, as seen in the diagram.

After examining the geometry, the bond angle of this compound is estimated to be around 109 degrees.

C2H5OH’s polarity

The polarity of C2H5OH is straightforward to determine.

The structure of the compound has already been seen in the preceding sections. As a result, you know the chemical contains a hydroxyl group.

An oxygen and a hydrogen atom are found in this hydroxyl group (-OH).

Because of the significant difference in electronegativity between these two atoms, this group becomes polar.

The hydroxyl group attracts the majority of the charge to its side, resulting in polarity. As a result, the net dipole moment originates with a non-zero value across the molecule.

You should also read the article on the polarity of ethanol for more thorough information on its polarity.

C2H5OH’s Applications

Ethanol is used in a variety of sectors. Here are a few of them:

As an antiseptic or in hand sanitizers.

Insoluble chemicals are dissolved in it.

The most prevalent application is for recreational drinking.

It’s a type of engine fuel.

Putting it all together in a nutshell

In many ways, learning about this chemical was fascinating, whether it was the hybridization or the molecular geometry. Let us do a short overview of all we’ve read now that we’ve reached the end of the debate.

Alcohol is the most common name for ethanol.

Each of the two carbon atoms forms four bonds. A carbon atom and a hydrogen atom create a link with the oxygen atom. On oxygen, there are two lone pairs of electrons.

This compound’s hybridization is sp3.

Ethanol has a tetrahedral molecular shape.

The substance has a polar nature.

We hope you now have a better understanding of this chemical. Please do not hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Read more: HNO3 Is It A Strong Acid?

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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