Asked Sep 29, 2019

Suppose you forget to take into account the presence of unshared pair of electrons on oxygen atom of ethanol. What would you then predict for the C-O-H bond angles and the geometry of ethanol?


Expert Answer

Step 1

Ethanol is a an alcohol bearing two carbon atoms and a hydroxyl group. Both the carbons are bonded to four other elements and hence, both the carbon atoms form only sigma bonds. 

The structure of ethanol is as below:



Image Transcriptionclose

На с ОН Hс

Step 2

As per structure, carbon number 1 is bonded to two hydrogens (-C-H bond), one carbon (-C-C-) and a hydroxyl group (-C-O-H). Carbon number 1 is sp3 hybridized.

Actually, oxygen atom is also sp3 hybridized. Two of the hybridized orbitals are involved in formation of sigma bonds with C and H respectively while the other two contain a lone pair each.

The C-O-H bond with O as central atom can be shown as:

The bonds and lone pairs are oriented with lone pair-lone pair repulsions being more prominant than lone pair-bond pair repulsions which decreases the C-O-H bond angle being less than regular tetrahedral angle.


Image Transcriptionclose

На Hас — с C

Step 3

If lone pairs are not to be included, then oxygen is involved in only two bonds i.e. C-O and O-H. As lone pairs are not involved, there are only two bond pairs .

So, to keep the bond pairs apart and to mi...


Image Transcriptionclose

На Hас — о—н


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