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

1 Answer


The hybridization of carbon is #sp^3#: the oxygen atom is also #"sp"^3# hybridized.**


Carbon starts with an electron configuration of #1s^2 2s^2 sp^2#. This allows the formation of only 2 bonds.

Carbon then hybridizes to an electron configuration of # 1s^2 4 sp^3# that allows four bonds.

Oxygen has an electron configuration of # 1s^2 2s^2 2p^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.