H2SO4 Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, and Hybridization


H2SO4 is a chemical formula of Sulfuric acid which is commonly known as Oil of Vitriol. It’s a mineral acid composed of elements like oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur. It has a molecular weight of 98.079 g/mol. H2SO4 works as an oxidizing and dehydrating agent. Furthermore, it’s diprotic in nature which holds the capacity of releasing two protons together.

It is colorless, odorless, and extremely corrosive in nature. It has a wide variety of industrial uses, also used in petroleum refining to wash impurities of refinery products. To understand its structure, shape and polarity continue to read the article.


Properties of Sulfuric Acid

H2SO4 Sulfuric Acid
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 98.079 g/mol
Density 1.84 g/cm³
Boiling Point 337 °C
Melting Point 10 °C


What is the Lewis Structure?

Lewis structures commonly known as lewis dot diagrams or electron dot diagrams are representations of valence shell electrons in a molecule in which electrons are shown as dots.

They are helpful to know about molecular geometry.


Why is Lewis Structure Important?

They play a vital role in predicting the type and number of bonds which can be formed around an atom.

Drawing of a Lewis Structure is the first step towards predicting the 3-D shape of molecules.

This further helps in understanding how the atoms bond, the physical properties of the molecule, and it also plays an important role in the way that biological molecules interact with each other.


Steps for drawing Lewis Dot Structure

While drawing the lewis dot structure for any chemical formula one needs to keep the following points in mind to avoid any mistakes.

  • Find the total number of valence electrons of hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms.
  • Search the total number of electron pairs.
  • Selection for center atom.
  • Now, the assigning of lone pairs are done on each atom of the molecule.
  • After assigning the pairs, check the stability until the most stable structure is obtained.

Note – Lone pairs can be converted into bonds until we get a stable structure.


Lewis Dot Structure of H2SO4

Follow the step by step procedure to draw the H2SO4 Lewis Dot Structure.

Step 1 – H2SO4 Valence Electrons

Oxygen and Sulfur atoms possess six electrons in their valence shells. Both of them come under the VIA group in the periodic table.

By reading below you can check how we can calculate the total valence electrons in the molecule.

Since, one molecule of sulfuric acid has 2 hydrogens (H) atoms, 1 sulfur(S) atom, and 4 of oxygen(0).

From which, the Sulfur and Oxygen atom gives a total of 6 electrons and hydrogen gives 1 electron. So by calculating we get the number of valence electrons for sulfuric acid.

  • Total Valence electron given by Hydrogen – 2*1 = 2
  • Total Valence electron given by Sulfur – 6*1 = 6
  • A total Valence electron is given by Oxygen – 6*4 = 24

Total valence electrons = 2+6+24 = 32

Step 2 – We can find the total number of electron pairs by dividing the total number of valence electrons by 2. Hence, 32/2 given the result 16. It means the total pairs of electrons are 16.

Step 3 – After knowing the total number of electron pairs we have to select the center atom since we need to pick the atom with the highest valence. For the H2SO4 molecule, sulfur has the highest valence.

Step 4 – Now, mark lone pairs outside the oxygen atoms.

Step 5 – In order to find the stability of the structure, check out the charge on the atom. Both Oxygen atoms will get a -1 charge while sulfur will get a +2 charge on it. Hence, we get this ( -1*2 + (+2) ) = 0.

Step 6 – The last step is to check the stability of the charge. In order to make it stable, we need to reduce the charges. As we know that oxygen has a higher electronegativity than sulfur so it holds a negative charge on it.

H2SO4 lewis structure

Do you know? That sulfur can accommodate more than eight valence electrons.


H2SO4 Molecular Shape and Polarity

The molecular shape of a molecule and its polarity is dependent on the atoms involved in its formation. The electronic configuration including lone pairs gives the most stable shape to the molecule.

The electronegativity of atoms and the type of bond formation determines whether a molecule have polar or nonpolar nature.

Molecular Shape

in the H2SO4 molecule, Sulfur being the central atom has four paired electrons and 0 unpaired electrons.

Hence, its structure is classified as a tetrahedron with 109.5 degrees between the Sulfur and the four Oxygen atoms.

Hydrogen and Oxygen form a linear bond with an angle of 180 degrees.

Molecular Polarity

The H2SO4 molecule is polar in nature because of the bent H-O-S bonds which are present in it. As a result, the charge distribution across the molecule becomes non-uniform.

H2SO4 geometrical shape


H2SO4 Hybridization

It’s the process in which atomic orbitals fuse to form new hybridized orbitals, which in turn influences molecular geometry.

The new orbitals are known as hybridized orbitals. It happens only during the formation of bonds, not in gaseous form.

Sulfur atoms have bonds with four other atoms in molecules.

As per the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory (VSEPR), the atoms will separate as far as possible to result in bonds that are 109.5 degrees apart from one another.

Calculating the hybridization of any compound is easy by simply following the below formula.

H= ½ (no. of valence electrons in central atom + no. of monovalent atoms – cation + anion)

= ½ ( 6 + 2 ) = 4

We know that when there are four hybrid orbitals.

Hence, hybridization is sp3 i.e, tetrahedral in structure.


H2SO4 Molecular Geometry

Sulfuric acid has tetrahedral geometry. It is because of the central sulfur atom, there exists a bonding of four groups including two of O and two of -OH.

Furthermore, it has no lone pair of electrons.

According to the VSEPR theory, the lowest energy geometry for this kind of molecule is termed as a tetrahedron geometry.


Type of Bonding in H2SO4

This is a bisulfate anion that takes electrons from other metals. Hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms form covalent polar bonds.

This further means that the dipole moment is in effect, leading to which compound has a positive and negative charge to it.

In addition to this sulfur has high electronegativity and so does oxygen. This is the reason why electrons are closer to these two elements instead of hydrogen.

As we can see in the Lewis Structure, H2SO4 takes sulfur as the center atom.

Two of the oxygen atoms are double-bonded to the sulfur atom, while the rest of the two are single-bonded.

Likewise, a hydrogen atom is attached to each single-bonded oxygen atom.


H2SO4 Intermolecular Forces

H2SO4 molecule is highly polar and its dipoles are also closer to each other. It is because of small-sized hydrogen atoms.

In comparison to the other molecules, hydrogen is most likely to bond with the oxygen atoms, creating a strong bond.

The bond is considered to be strong as it requires a large amount of energy to convert it into gaseous and liquid form.

Therefore, H2SO4 has high melting and boiling points.

One reason can also be stated here to define the strength of the bonds because as we know oxygen is highly electronegative to the hydrogen causing the molecules to be held tightly.

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