What type of bonds are being broken when you melt ice?

1 Answer
Dec 12, 2016

Hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen bonds are relatively weak bonds, and don't involve the sharing or transfer of electrons. The bond between each oxygen and hydrogen atom is a polar covalent bond, which involves the unequal sharing of electrons.


Water molecules are polar. The oxygen atom has a partial negative charge #(delta^-)# and the hydrogen atoms have a partial positive charge #(delta^+)#. Because of this, water molecules are attracted to one another. The hydrogen end of one molecule is attracted to the oxygen end of another molecule. This is called a hydrogen bond.


The following diagram shows the hydrogen bonds that at its freezing point cause the water molecules to form a crystalline structure, increasing volume, and decreasing density. Water is at its lowest density at #0^@"C"#, allowing it to float on liquid water.