What is the electronic structure of formaldehyde?

1 Answer
Jan 5, 2017

Answer:

#"In formaldehyde....................?"#

Explanation:

The carbon centre is #sp^2-"hybridized........."#

There are 4 valence electrons to distribute around carbon. Three of these electrons are #sp^2-"hybridized"#, and they form #2xxC-H#, and #1xxC-O#, bonds. The fourth carbon electron remains unhybridized, and can overlap with an oxygen electron to form a #pi-#bond, above and below the plane of the #sp^2# framework.

A Lewis structure of #H_2C=O# reflects this arrangement. Most of the time it is supplied in the lab as #"formalin"#, an aqueous solution. #"Paraformaldehyde"#, #(CH_2O)_3# is a cylic trimer, that can be used as a substitute.