What is the hybridization of the carbon atom in methanol? of the oxygen atom?

Apr 8, 2017

The hybridization of carbon is $s {p}^{3}$: the oxygen atom is also ${\text{sp}}^{3}$ hybridized.**

Explanation:

Carbon starts with an electron configuration of $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} s {p}^{2}$. This allows the formation of only 2 bonds.

Carbon then hybridizes to an electron configuration of $1 {s}^{2} 4 s {p}^{3}$ that allows four bonds.

Oxygen has an electron configuration of $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{4}$
Oxygen with this electron configuration can form 2 bonds.

Like carbon, oxygen can also hybridize and form #sp^3 orbitals.

In methane, carbon forms four bonds: three with hydrogen and one with oxygen.

The oxygen forms two bonds: 1 with carbon and 1 with the hydrogen of the alcohol group.