C2H5OH Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity


C2H5OH or Ethanol can simply be called or termed alcohol and it is an organic chemical compound. The compound can also be represented as CH3-CH2-OH.

Ethanol is a colorless liquid with a distinct odor and a pungent taste. It has flammable properties; when burnt, the compound gives a blue color flame.

Here are some ways in which ethanol is prepared:

C2H4+H2SO4         ——->       CH3CH2SO4H

CH3CH2SO4H       +       H20        ———->       CH3CH2OH      +      H2SO4

C6H12O6       ——–>      2CH3CH2OH     +      2CO2

C12H22O11     +      H20      ——->       4CH3CH2OH       +      4CO2

The molecular weight of the compound is 46.07 g/mol. Ethanol’s boiling point is 78.2 deg C and its melting point is -114.1 degree Celcius.

Let us now start knowing more about the compound from a different perspective like its 2D and 3D representation, polarity, and more.


Lewis Structure of C2H5OH

Lewis structure is a representation of all the bonds and lone pairs of different atoms that a compound has. This is a 2-D representation and it helps us to understand more about the properties of the compound.

Let’s move step-by-step and see how the Lewis Structure of C2H5OH can be made.

Step 1: Finding the valence electrons for each atom.

Valence electrons are those electrons that are attached to the outer shell of the atom.
Here we have three different atoms, C, O, and H.

Valence electrons in one Carbon atom are 4 and here we have 2 atoms of Carbon so total valence electrons on C are= 4*2 = 8.

Similarly, we can find it for Oxygen and Hydrogen atoms too.

Valence electrons for oxygen are= 6.

Valence electrons for hydrogen are 1 and here we have 6 hydrogen atoms thus the total number of valence

electrons for hydrogen is = 6*1 = 6.

Hence, we have a total of = 8+6+6 = 20 valence electrons in the Ethanol compound.

Now let us move to the second step of making a Lewis structure.

Step 2: Making the electron dot structure.

Here the central atom is Carbon which makes Oxygen and Hydrogen the neighboring atoms.

C2H5OH lewis structure

Here from the diagram, you can understand how the bond formation takes place for this compound. But let us discuss it in detail for clarity.

Hydrogen can share one electron with the other atoms to attain stability.

Carbon and Oxygen need 8 electrons each in their outer shell to fulfill the octet rule and further reach stability. The first Carbon forms 4 bonds, one with the neighboring carbon atom and the rest three with hydrogen atoms. This carbon atom is thus stable in nature as it has 8 electrons in its outer-most shell.

The second Carbon atom also forms four bonds. Two bonds are with the hydrogen atom and the other two bonds are one with the neighboring Carbon atom and one with the Oxygen atom.

The valence electrons in Oxygen are 6, thus, when oxygen shares two electrons one each with Carbon and Hydrogen, the oxygen atom is left with 2 lone pairs of electrons.

This is the most stable electron dot structure that can be created or that exists for ethanol.

Now when we have seen how the Lewis structure is made, we can move ahead and look at the other aspects of the compound.


Hybridization of C2H5OH

What is the hybridization of Ethanol?

When two atomic orbitals with the same energy levels mix to form new hybrid orbitals the process is known as hybridization.

The easiest way to find hybridization in a Carbon compound is by checking how many atoms are associated with a particular carbon atom.

Here, we have already drawn the Lewis Dot Structure of the compound so it becomes easy for us to visually inspect that as to how many bonds are formed.

There are two carbon atoms in this compound.

The first carbon atom is associated with four atoms which are: 3 Hydrogen and 1 Carbon. Hybridization is thus sp3 for this particular carbon atom.

The second carbon atom is again associated with four atoms which are: 1 Oxygen, 1 Carbon, and 2 Hydrogen atoms.

Again, the hybridization has come up to sp3 for this particular carbon atom.

Here, even the oxygen atom has sp3 hybridization considering its bond angle and also the bond formation. The oxygen atom forms 4 bonds 1 with hydrogen, 1 with carbon, and the rest are two lone pairs of electrons which are sp3 hybridized orbitals.

Thus, we can say that the overall hybridization state of ethanol is sp3.

Now when we have seen the hybridization of this compound let’s move to the molecular geometry of ethanol in detail.


Molecular Geometry of C2H5OH

To understand any compound better we can’t stop our evaluation and studies to just one aspect.

With the help of Lewis structure, we come to know about the 2D representation of ethanol but we can decipher the 3D structure of the compound as well. By doing that we can look at other properties and behaviors of the compound.

Let us look at how we can find the molecular geometry of ethanol and how it appears to be in plane space.
The best way to find the molecular geometry of any compound is by using the VSEPR or the Valence shell electron pair repulsion theory.

By using the VSEPR theory we can find the molecular geometry, bond length, and bond angle of any compound.
Here the compound in conversation is ethanol, so let us dive into how to find the geometry of the compound.

The chart that is used to deduce the same is mentioned below:

VSEPR chart

According to the theory the shape of any compound depends largely and solely on the number of bonding and nonbonding pairs of electrons around the central atom.

In order to lower the repulsion between different bonds, the compound will take a shape that suits and makes it the most stable.

The carbon atoms of this compound have 4 bonds, thus according to the chart, the shape should be tetrahedral. The oxygen atom however has 2 bonds and 2 lone pairs of electrons.

Now according to the chart, the oxygen atom will have a bent molecular shape and a tetrahedral electron geometry.

The bond angle of this compound after assessing the geometry comes out to be somewhere around 109 degrees.

C2H5OH geometry


Polarity of C2H5OH

The polarity of C2H5OH is very easy to find and decipher.

You have already seen the structure of the compound in the above sections. Thus, you know that there is a hydroxyl group in the compound.

This hydroxyl group (-OH) contains an oxygen and hydrogen atom.

These two atoms have a substantial difference in electronegativity due to which this particular group becomes polar in nature.

The hydroxyl group pulls the larger proportion of the charge towards its side and generates polarity. As a result, the net dipole moment originates across the molecule with some non-zero value.

For detailed information about its polarity, you must also read out the article written on the polarity of ethanol.


Uses of C2H5OH

Ethanol has a lot of uses in different industries. Here are some of those:

  • Used in hand sanitizers or as an antiseptic.
  • Used as a solvent for insoluble compounds.
  • Most commonly used for leisure drinking purposes.
  • Used as an engine fuel.


In a Nutshell

Learning about this compound was quite interesting in many ways be it the hybridization or the molecular geometry. Now as we have reached the end of the discussion, let us quickly do a recap of everything that we have read.

  • Ethanol can majorly be referred to as alcohol.
  • There are two carbon atoms that form four bonds each. The oxygen atom forms a bond with a carbon atom and a hydrogen atom. There are two lone pairs of electrons on oxygen.
  • The hybridization of this compound is sp3.
  • The molecular geometry of ethanol is tetrahedral.
  • The compound is polar in nature.

We hope that you have got clarity over this compound. In case you have any queries please feel free to reach out to our team.

Thank you for reading.

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