C2H2O Lewis structure

C2H2O (ethynol) has two carbon atoms, two hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom.

In the C2H2O Lewis structure, there is a triple bond between the two carbon atoms. The left carbon is attached with the hydrogen atom, and the right carbon is attached with the oxygen atom. And the oxygen atom (with which the second hydrogen atom is attached) has two lone pairs.

Contents

Steps

Here’s how you can easily draw the C2H2O Lewis structure step by step:

#1 Draw a rough skeleton structure
#2 Mention lone pairs on the atoms
#3 If needed, mention formal charges on the atoms
#4 Minimize formal charges by converting lone pairs of the atoms, and try to get a stable Lewis structure
#5 Repeat step 4 again if needed, until all charges are minimized

Now, let’s take a closer look at each step mentioned above.

#1 Draw a rough skeleton structure

• First, determine the total number of valence electrons

In the periodic table, carbon lies in group 14, hydrogen lies in group 1, and oxygen lies in group 16.

Hence, carbon has four valence electrons, hydrogen has one valence electron, and oxygen has six valence electrons.

Since C2H2O has two carbon atoms, two hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom, so…

Valence electrons of two carbon atoms = 4 × 2 = 8
Valence electrons of two hydrogen atoms = 1 × 2 = 2
Valence electrons of one oxygen atom = 6 × 1 = 6

And the total valence electrons = 8 + 2 + 6 = 16

• Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 16 valence electrons. And when we divide this value by two, we get the value of total electron pairs.

Total electron pairs = total valence electrons ÷ 2

So the total electron pairs = 16 ÷ 2 = 8

• Third, determine the central atom

Here hydrogen can not be the central atom. Because the central atom is bonded with at least two other atoms, and hydrogen has only one electron in its last shell, so it can not make more than one bond.

Now we have to choose the central atom from carbon and oxygen. Place the least electronegative atom at the center.

Since carbon is less electronegative than oxygen, assume that the central atom is carbon.

Here, there are two carbon atoms, so we can assume any one as the central atom.

Let’s assume that the central atom is left carbon.

Therefore, place carbons in the center and hydrogen and oxygen on either side.

• And finally, draw the rough sketch

#2 Mention lone pairs on the atoms

Here, we have a total of 8 electron pairs. And four bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining four electron pairs as lone pairs on the sketch.

Also remember that both (carbon and oxygen) are the period 2 elements, so they can not keep more than 8 electrons in their last shell. And hydrogen is a period 1 element, so it can not keep more than 2 electrons in its last shell.

Always start to mark the lone pairs from outside atoms. Here, the outside atoms are hydrogens, oxygen, and right carbon. But no need to mark on hydrogen, because each hydrogen has already two electrons.

So for oxygen and right carbon, there are two lone pairs, and for left carbon, there is zero lone pair because all four electron pairs are over.

Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:

#3 If needed, mention formal charges on the atoms

Use the following formula to calculate the formal charges on atoms:

Formal charge = valence electrons – nonbonding electrons – ½ bonding electrons

For left carbon atom, formal charge = 4 – 0 – ½ (4) = +2

For right carbon atom, formal charge = 4 – 4 – ½ (4) = -2

For each hydrogen atom, formal charge = 1 – 0 – ½ (2) = 0

For oxygen atom, formal charge = 6 – 4 – ½ (4) = 0

Here, both carbon atoms have charges, so mark them on the sketch as follows:

The above structure is not a stable Lewis structure because both carbon atoms have charges. Therefore, reduce the charges (as below) by converting lone pairs to bonds.

#4 Minimize formal charges by converting lone pairs of the atoms

Convert a lone pair of the right carbon atom to make a new C — C bond with the left carbon atom as follows:

#5 Since there are charges on atoms, repeat step 4 again

Since there are charges on both carbon atoms, again convert a lone pair of the right carbon atom to make a new C — C bond with the left carbon atom as follows:

In the above structure, you can see that the central atom (left carbon) forms an octet. The outside atoms (right carbon and oxygen) also form an octet, and both hydrogens form a duet. Hence, the octet rule and duet rule are satisfied.

Also, the above structure is more stable than the previous structures. Therefore, this structure is the stable Lewis structure of C2H2O.

Next: CHF3 Lewis structure