Is methanol a polar molecule?

1 Answer
Jul 22, 2016


  • To begin with, methanol, #"H"_3"C"-"OH"#, is asymmetrical, so it could not be nonpolar (being 100% symmetrical in all directions means all dipole moments would cancel out completely).
  • The molecular geometry around oxygen in methanol is bent.
  • Oxygen is more electronegative than carbon or hydrogen, so the electron density is skewed towards oxygen.
  • Therefore, there is a net dipole with the negative end pointing through oxygen, and methanol is polar.