Problem: Write resonance forms that describe the distribution of electrons in each of these molecules or ions. hydrogen carbonate ion, HCO3− (C is bonded to an OH group and two O atoms)

FREE Expert Solution

We are being asked to identify the resonance forms that describe the distribution of electrons in bicarbonate ion, HCO3-(C is bonded to an OH group and two O atoms)

First, we will have to draw the Lewis Structure of HCO3-.


Step 1: Determine the central atom in this molecule.

           • C → less electronegative atom than O → central atom

H is less electronegative than C but H can only make one bond


Step 2: Calculate the total number of valence electrons present.          

HCO3-:

           Group              Valence Electrons

 C         4A                    4 valence e
 O         6A                    
6 valence e- x 3
 H         1A                    
1 valence e-  

-1 charge                     +1 e-
                                    Total = 
24 valence e-


Step 3: Draw the Lewis Structure for the molecule

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Problem Details

Write resonance forms that describe the distribution of electrons in each of these molecules or ions.

 hydrogen carbonate ion, HCO3 (C is bonded to an OH group and two O atoms)

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Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Resonance Structures concept. You can view video lessons to learn Resonance Structures. Or if you need more Resonance Structures practice, you can also practice Resonance Structures practice problems.