The Lewis structure of H2O2, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity of H2O2 are discussed.

H2O2 is a chemical substance known as Hydrogen Peroxide, which has the IUPAC name H2O2. An oxygen-oxygen single-bond molecule is the simplest form of peroxide.

A pale blue liquid in its natural condition, it progressively decomposes into water and oxygen when exposed to sunshine.

2H2O2 + O2 = 2H2O + 2H2O (in the presence of sunlight)

On the left-hand side, O is a -1 oxidation state, whereas on the right-hand side, it is a -2 and +0 oxidation state.

H2O2 has a melting point of -0.43 Celsius (31.23 Fahrenheit) (31.23 Fahrenheit). A chemical with a low melting point suggests that it prefers to remain liquid.

It also exhibits a comparatively high boiling point of 150.2 Celsius (302.4 Fahrenheit), attributable to strong hydrogen bonding interactions with water and other H2O2 molecules.

Anthraquinone serves as a catalyst in the production of H2O2 in the industrial setting. The following is the response:

In the presence of oxygen, 2H2O yields 2H2O2 (in the presence of Anthraquinone)

Reverse disproportionation reactions like this one can be found in the comproportionation process, as well.

Bleaching and disinfection are common uses for this powerful oxidising chemical.

The oxidation/reduction of various functional groups is one of its many uses in organic synthesis. Since there is no oxygen available for burning in outer space, it is also utilised as an oxidizer in spacecraft.

A harmful consequence of many biological processes, H2O2 is decomposed by a number of enzyme reactions.

Because it is poisonous and caustic, it must be handled with extreme care.

The Lewis structure of H2O2.

In this article, we’ll talk about H2O2’s chemical bonding properties.

Our first step will be to sketch out the Lewis structure of hydrogen peroxide.

The molecular geometry may not be fully described by a Lewis structure. The skeletal structure of the molecule, its bonds, and its lone pairs can still be beneficial.

The valence electrons of the atoms’ constituents are thoroughly analysed to do this.

The first step is to figure out how many valence electrons H2O2 has.

Hydrogen (H) is a member of Group 1 and has an atomic number of 1. A single valence electron, then.

Group 16 (the chalcogen family) also includes oxygen (O), which has an atomic number of 8.

Consequently, there are 6 valence electrons. The nucleus’s strong attraction to the other two electrons prevents them from participating in chemical bonding.

It has two H atoms, and two O atoms make up the molecule of H2O2.

Valence electrons (n1) = total number of electrons

For each valence electron in H, multiply 2 x (H) + 2 x (H) (Number of Valence electrons in O)

2 times 1 plus 2 times 6 equals 14

Step 2: Determine how many electrons each atom in the molecule requires to complete its octet.

Note that the electrical arrangement of Helium requires a duet rather than an octet for the H atom.

As a result, the total number of electrons required to obtain an inert configuration (n2) is equal to

For H, multiply by two by two and then by eight (for O)

= 4 + 16 + 20

Calculate the number of electrons that make up a bond.

To get the number of bonding electrons, divide 20 by 14, or six.

To determine how many bond pairs there are, go to step 4.

n3/2 equals 6/2, which is the number of bond pairs.

Step 5: Count the number of electrons that aren’t involved in any bonds.

Non-bonding electrons (n4) = Valence Electrons – Bonding Electrons.

the value obtained by subtracting the first two numbers from the third

8 – 6 = 14

The number of lone pairs must be determined in step six.

There are n4/2 = 8/2 = 4 lone pairs.

Step 7: Remove the electron pairs from the H2O2 skeleton before drawing it.

In a lewis structure, the least electronegative atom is typically chosen as the central atom.

H2O2, on the other hand, does not have a centre atom because it has two atoms of each type. To make matters worse, H is a monovalent element, which means it can only create one bond when combined with other elements.

We can, however, infer the skeleton structure from our earlier calculations.

Later, we’ll use the concept of formal charges to confirm our best guess. This is where we’ll put the two O atoms in a circle, and the two H atoms will be on the outside.

The valence electrons should be placed in the skeletal framework in step eight.

Electrons form three bond pairs (colored in blue). Two oxygen-hydrogen bonds and a single oxygen-oxygen link are formed as a result.

The H atoms are inert because they each have two electrons. However, each O atom is missing four electrons in order to complete an octet. However, we also have four couples that are all by themselves (colored in red).

The octet of O atoms can be filled by placing them in the appropriate locations.

Consequently, we can see that the O atoms have an octave and the H atoms have a duo.

The stability of the molecule is dependent on this inert electrical state.

Make a formal charge calculation for each atom in Step 9.

The concept of formal charge can be used to verify the correctness of our Lewis structure. An atom’s “formal charge” is defined as:

Calculate the formal charge by subtracting the bonding electrons by half (0.5), then subtracting the difference.

The number of bonding and non-bonding electrons can be found from the Lewis structure.

To calculate each O-formal atom’s charge, divide the number of protons by the square root of four.

Its formal charge is equal to one (0.5 x 2) –0 = 1 –1 = 0

The molecule’s total charge is equal to the sum of the formal charges on all of its atoms.

This is in line with the fact that H2O2 is a neutral, non-charged molecule. Our Lewis structure is therefore correct.

Chemistry of Hydrogen Peroxide 2 (H2O2)

When determining the molecular structure of H2O2, we use Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR).

Electron-cloud repulsion is minimised by a molecule’s geometry, according to VSEPR physics.

There are three types of interactions here. They are ranked in decreasing order of strength:

  1. Repulsion of the lone pair

Repulsion between a bond pair

Repulsion between a bonded pair

To figure out the geometry, we’ll consult the VSEPR geometry table.

X is the substituent and E is the lone pair of electrons that surrounds A.

Only molecules having a single atom in the centre are included in this table (A). A portion of H2O2 can be approximated as an AX2E2 type molecule.

We abbreviate H-O as “R.” As a result, H2O2’s formula is R-O-H. The VSEPR table is now ready for use. The molecule has two bond pairs and two lone pairs of the AX2E2 type.

As a result, the geometry will be curved. Only one of the O atoms has been subjected to the VSEPR model, however. The H2O2 molecule has a “open book” structure because each O atom has a bent shape.

In the solid crystalline phase, the bond lengths and angles differ somewhat from those illustrated in the picture below (the gas phase). To delve into the causes for this would be beyond the scope of this piece. The “open book” structure, on the other hand, will not change.

Hybridization of H2O2

The valence electrons have been all we’ve used to study chemical bonding thus far.

We need to know the electrical configuration of the atomic orbitals in order to better grasp molecular geometry.

The square of the amplitude of an atomic orbital’s amplitude provides us the probability of locating an electron in space.

Aufbau’s principle, Hund’s rule of maximal multiplicity, and Pauli’s exclusion principle can be used to figure out the electrical configuration.

Oxygen’s (O) electronic configuration is [He] 2s2 2p4.

Hydrogen’s electronic configuration is 1s1.

It is important to note that oxygen’s six valence electrons are all located in the s and p orbitals of the atom. However, the energy equivalents of the chemical bonds created by O must be met. This is where the power of crossbreeding comes in.

Three p orbitals and one s orbital combine to form four sp3 orbitals that are energetically equal.

The Steric Number can also be used to calculate O2’s hybridization.

Atomic Bonding + Atomic Lone Pairs on O = Steric O Number

= 2 + 2 = 4;

sp3 hybridization has a Steric Number of 4.

There are two lone pairs of electrons in two of the four sp3 hybrid orbitals, while the other two sp3 orbitals are open for chemical bonding.

An oxygen-hydrogen covalent link is formed when one of the two sp3 orbitals overlaps with the 1s of a H atom, while the other sp3 orbital overlaps with another oxygen atom to form a single bond.

Sp3 orbitals point toward the corners of an orthogonal triangle, but because of the two lone pairs in the system, the atoms take on the bent shape of the H2O molecular structure.

An open book structure is created when the geometry of both Oxygen atoms is bent.

Polarity of H2O2

It’s the tendency of an atom to attract the electrons it shares with another atom.

Electronegative elements have a greater tendency to conduct electricity, while electropositive elements have a lower tendency.

The Pauling Scale of Electronegativity has been used to measure electronegativity. More electronegative elements have a higher Pauling number.

H2O is less electronegative than oxygen (3.44) (2.20). Due to these differences in electron configuration, the O atoms will have a partial negative charge (-), while the H atoms (+),

The vector of the chemical dipole moment is known as

When you divide by two, you get d.

where d is the distance between the atoms and is the partial charge.

Electronegative to electropositive is considered a “rule of thumb” by convention. Polar molecules are molecules that have a permanent dipole moment.

We may estimate the direction of the dipole moment vectors (coloured in grey) in H2O2 using Pauling electronegativity values.

No difference in electronegativity between the two O atoms means that the O-O bond is nonpolar.

However, the dipole moment vectors are not antiparallel to one other in magnitude. As a result, the molecule has a non-zero dipole moment vector.

As a result, H2O2 is classified as polar.

In addition, I wrote a piece on H2O2’s polarity, which you can find here.


The hydrogen peroxide molecule H2O2 has been described in detail in this article.

The molecular geometry, hybridization, and polarity may all be predicted using Lewis Structures and VSEPR theory.

The sp3 hybridization of the H2O2 molecule is seen as an open book-like structure. Due to its curved shape, it is polar.

Do not hesitate to ask us any questions you may have.

It’s going to be a great experience, so have

Read more: Is MgCl2 Covalent or Ionic?

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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