Problem: Show resonance structures for acetate ion (CH 3CO2-)

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We are being asked to identify the resonance structures of acetate ion (CH3CO2-). 

We will have to draw the Lewis Structure of CH3CO2- first.


Step 1: Determine the central atom in this molecule.

C and H are less electronegative than O but H can only make one bond
C is the central atom and is bonded to the other C atom


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

CH3COO-:

          Group              Valence Electrons

C         4A                    4 valence e x 2
H         1A                    1 valence e x 3
O         6A                    6 valence e- x 2
                                 = 23 valence e

-1 charge                     +1 e­-

 Total = 24 valence e- 


Step 3: Draw the Lewis Structure for the molecule

O and C → prefers to have complete octet (8 e- around them)

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Show resonance structures for acetate ion (CH 3CO2-)

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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.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Hanlan's class at SFU.