Chemistry Query: In the lewis structure of HCO2-, why doesn't the hydrogen bond to the oxygen? It binds to the hydrogen atom, why?

asked by @prakrits1 • about 2 years ago • Chemistry • 5 pts

Jules in his video said that oxygen likes to form double bonds, so why doesn't that hold true here?

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1 answer

Hey! So recall that in Lewis Structures, we must place the least electronegative element as the central element. In this case, we will place carbon in the center since it is the least electronegative and because H can never be the central atom. Then, we say that the surrounding elements around carbon will be our two oxygens and the one hydrogen.

When we do this, carbon still needs its full octet, so we decide to make a double bond between one of the oxygens and our carbon, making carbon have its 8 electrons.

We cannot bind the hydrogen atom to the oxygen atom because it means that carbon will lose one of its bonds (remember that it needs 4). Hydrogen cannot be connected to oxygen here because the valence electrons on the atoms will not add up to satisfy all of the atom's octets or full valence shells. Remember that Hydrogen can only hold 2 valence electrons! Hope that helped!

answered by @sabrina • about 2 years ago