Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074



Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074
Textbook Problem

Draw resonance structures for the bicarbonate ion, HCO3‒.

  1. (a) Does HCO3 have the same number of resonance structures as the CO32‒ ion? Are any less likely than others?
  2. (b) What are the formal charges on the O and C atoms in HCO3? What is the average formal charge on the O atoms? Compare this with the O atoms in CO32‒.
  3. (c) Protonation of HCO3 gives H2CO3. How do formal charges predict where the H+ ion will be attached?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The resonance structures for the given ion should be determined. Whether resonance structures of CO32- are same as HCO3-, the formal charges of carbon and oxygen atoms in HCO3-, the average formal charge on oxygen atoms and the formal charges for protonation of ion HCO3- should be identified.

Concept Introduction:

A formal charge (FC) is the charge assigned to an atom in a molecule, irrespective of relative electro negativity by thinking that electrons in all chemical bonds are shared equally among atoms.

Formal charge of an atom can be determined by the given formula.


Resonance stabilization: Due to the delocalization of electrons within the molecule the overall energy becomes lower and makes that molecule more stable.


The resonance structures for HCO3- is as follows,

The resonance structures for CO32- is as follows,


Analysing the resonance structures of HCO3- and CO32- shows that only two resonance structures are needed for HCO3- whereas CO32- requires three resonance structures

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