Problem: Toothpastes containing sodium hydrogen carbonate (sodium bicarbonate) and hydrogen peroxide are widely used. Write Lewis structures for the hydrogen carbonate ion and hydrogen peroxide molecule, with resonance forms where appropriate.

FREE Expert Solution

Let’s start with the formulas for hydrogen carbonate ion and hydrogen peroxide.


Carbonate is a polyatomic anion with the formula CO32-.

Hydrogen carbonate is another polyatomic anion which has a hydrogen attached to the carbonate ion.

H+ + CO32- → HCO3-


Peroxides are compounds of oxygen where oxygen is present as O22-.

For a compound, the two negative charges need to be balanced with two H+ ions.

2H+  O22-   = H2O2


To write Lewis structures of molecules, we will recall the following rules:

  • The atom of least electronegativity is the center atom.
  • This does not apply to H as it can form only one bond.


Let’s start by calculating the number of valence electrons.


https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/SL6xYnDXs_t0VVvP7TlpYgK30eERVTKBnGiOOHocQG5fq1aO0iB3CJhv3Nq07CggQh8S849oJBk3F74QAZbimcHQpwDbjdvqldXfq-m6gySSDgHCVL-iNFSb41yKV2R1gLFdzoOE


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Problem Details

Toothpastes containing sodium hydrogen carbonate (sodium bicarbonate) and hydrogen peroxide are widely used. Write Lewis structures for the hydrogen carbonate ion and hydrogen peroxide molecule, with resonance forms where appropriate.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

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 Brush's class at FSU.

What textbook is this problem found in?

Our data indicates that this problem or a close variation was asked in Chemistry - OpenStax 2015th Edition. You can also practice Chemistry - OpenStax 2015th Edition practice problems.