What is the staggered conformation of ethane using the sawhorse projection?

1 Answer
Dec 29, 2014

Let's start with a wedge-dash view of the staggered conformation of ethane.


A sawhorse projection is a view of a molecule down a particular carbon-carbon bond.

Groups connected to both the front and back carbons are drawn using sticks at 120° angles.

To convert the wedge-dash structure to a sawhorse projection, we must look at the molecule from one end.

Assume that we view from the left hand side. Then the three bonds nearest us form an inverted "Y".

We draw a sawhorse template with a long line from lower left to upper right.

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At the bottom end we draw 3 bonds in an inverted "Y" at angles of 120°. At the top end we draw 3 bonds in a "Y" at angles of 120 °.

Next we add the atoms. Since all of them are H, we put an H atom at the end of every bond.

The staggered sawhorse structure of ethane is then

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