C2H6, known as ethane, is a saturation open-chain hydrocarbon or we have the right to say the it comes under the alkane family. Hydrocarbon is an organic compound, which consists of only carbon and hydrogen. Saturated hydrocarbons space those hydrocarbons, i m sorry contain carbon-hydrogen and also carbon-carbon solitary bonds.

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Saturated hydrocarbons are additional classified right into alkane (open chain of carbon atoms) and cycloalkane (closed chain the carbon atoms). Ethane can also be composed as CH3-CH3.

Ethane is colorless and also odorless gas at standard temperature and also pressure. The melting and also boiling allude of ethane are -182.8 °C and -89 °C, respectively. The flashpoint that ethane is -135 °C and hence, that is vapors ignite quickly by one ignition source.

The molar mass of ethane is 30.07 g/mol. Ethane is obtained from natural gas and petroleum industrially. The can additionally be prepared from ethene, ethyl chloride, and also sodium acetate in the laboratory. Below are some techniques of ready of ethane:

CH2 = CH2 + H2 —–Pt/Pd/Ni——> CH3 − CH3

CH3 − CH2Cl + H2 —— Zn/H+ —–> CH3 − CH3 + HCl

2CH3Cl + 2Na ——Dry ether——> CH3 − CH3 + 2 NaCl

2 CH3COONa + 2H2O —–Electrolysis——> CH3 − CH3 + 2NaOH + H2 + 2CO2

Let us comment on the basic concepts of ethane such together its Lewis structure, polarity, hybridization of carbon atom in ethane, and its Molecular orbital (MO) chart to recognize its chemical bonding in terms of molecular orbitals.

C2H6 Lewis Structure

Lewis structure is a 2D depiction of the compound, i m sorry represents only the valance covering electrons that the atom in the molecule.

It is based on the octet ascendancy i.e. Every atom has tendency to finish its octet ( 8 electrons) one of two people by obtaining or shedding electrons other than Hydrogen and Helium as they finish their duplet.

Let us draw a Lewis framework of ethane action by step.

Step 1: determining the total number of valence electron in the molecule.

The valence electron because that carbon (1s22s22p2) and also hydrogen (1s1) is 4 and 1, respectively. In ethane, we have actually two carbon atoms and 6 hydrogen atoms and hence, the total number of valence electron are (2 X 4) + (1 X 6) = 14.

Step 2: drawing the Lewis structure:

A carbon atom has actually 4 valance electrons and also it requirements 4 much more electrons to finish its octet. Therefore, it develops 4 bonds, one with bordering carbon atoms and also three with 3 hydrogen atoms by sharing electrons.

The Lewis framework of ethane would certainly be:


We deserve to count the total number of valance electron in the Lewis framework of ethane, which is equal to 14.

The total variety of electrons roughly each carbon atom is 8 electrons and hence, it has completed that octet. Every hydrogen atom is surrounding by two electrons, bring about duplet formation.

If us observe, we can see the all 14 valance electron has actually been provided for bond formation. Therefore, there is no lone pair of electrons on any kind of atom of ethane.

Now, let us relocate towards native 2D representation to 3D representation of the molecule i.e., molecule geometry the ethane.

C2H6 molecular Geometry

The molecule geometry that a compound is identified by valance covering electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory.

According come this theory, the shape and geometry the the molecule rely on the variety of bonding electrons and also lone pair of electrons. In ethane, carbon is a central atom and also it has no lone pair that electrons.

The geometry and shape the ethane will certainly be the exact same owing come the lack of lone pair of electrons. So, the geometry/shape of ethane have the right to be predicted native the complying with table:

General formulaNumber of link pairsMolecular shape/geometry
AX33Trigonal planar
AX55Trigonal bipyramidal

We have actually observed currently that carbon, a main atom creates 4 bonds, one v the nearest carbon atom and also 3 with hydrogen atom in the Lewis structure.

The four bond pair that carbon corresponds to the tetrahedral geometry/shape of every carbon atom whereas one shortcut pair of every hydrogen atom corresponds to direct geometry/shape.

Hence, the three-dimensional structure of ethane would certainly be:

The tetrahedral geometry that ethane leads to a bond angle (either H-C-H or H-C-H) that 109.5 °. The bond size of the C-C and C-H link is 153.52 pm and also 109.40 pm, respectively.

After examining the lewis structure and molecular geometry, we move towards the hybridization the carbon atoms in the ethane molecule.


C2H6 Hybridization

Hybridization is the mix of 2 or an ext atomic orbitals of similar energy, which leader to the development of hybrid orbitals.

The hybridization hatchet is supplied in the valence bond theory (VBT) to describe the shape, formation, and directional properties of binding in polyatomic molecules.

Now, us will usage valence bond concept to understand the hybridization the ethane.

The soil state digital configuration the C is 1s22s22p2, through two unpaired electron in ns orbital and one pair of electron in s orbit of valence shell.

However, carbon creates four bonds, and also paired electrons execute not get involved in shortcut formation.

Hence, one of the 2s electrons gets excited to ns orbital and also the excited state electronic configuration the the carbon atom would certainly be 1s22s12p3.

This excitation energy is acquired from the overlapping that carbon and hydrogen orbitals. One 2s orbital and also three 2p orbitals mix together they are of nearly comparable energy and type four sp3 hybrid orbitals of tantamount energy.

Therefore, the hybridization the both carbon atom in ethane is sp3 v tetrahedral geometry.

Out of 4 sp3 hybrid orbitals, three of them will certainly overlap axially with three 1s orbitals the the hydrogen atom and one will certainly overlap axially v the sp3 hybrid orbit of another carbon atom. It leader to the formation of 4 sigma bonds associated with each carbon atom.

The orbital diagram of ethane is provided below:


C2H6 Polarity

The electronegativity the C and Hydrogen is 2.6 and also 2.2 ~ above the Pauling scale, respectively.

The electronegativity difference between carbon and a hydrogen atom is 0.4, which is an extremely less and hence, the C-H bond in ethane is nonpolar. It leads to the nonpolar nature the the ethane molecule.

The polar solvent disappear polar molecules and the nonpolar solvent dissolves nonpolar molecules. Therefore, ethane is more soluble in toluene and also benzene and an extremely less or negligible soluble in the water.

C2H6 Molecular orbital (MO) Diagram

The molecular orbital theory, a quantum mechanical model, is offered to attract the molecular orbital (MO) chart of the ethane molecule. That is based on the linear mix of atomic orbitals, which result in the development of the molecular orbital.

The molecular orbit diagram that ethane would be:


The molecular orbit is developed from the mix of atomic orbitals, which should have practically the very same energy and are symmetrical around the molecule axis.

To know the MO chart of ethane, we consider it as a homonuclear diatomic A2 molecule.

We i think A together the CH3 group and will take into consideration only valance covering electrons because that clarity. The total number of valence electrons in ethane is 14 and also hence, each CH3 group will have actually 7 electrons. These seven electrons have the right to be dispersed in miscellaneous atomic orbitals such as σ, π, and also nσ.

As two atomic orbitals combine to type two molecular orbitals, one is bonding and the other is nonbonding. 3 atomic orbitals integrate to kind three molecule orbitals and so on.

Hence, the formation of molecule orbitals have the right to be interpreted as follows:

The σ atomic orbitals of every CH3 group will lead to the formation of 2 molecular orbitals such as σs and σs’.The 2 π atomic orbitals of every CH3 group will lead to the development of four molecular orbitals such together πy, πz, and also πy’, πz’.The nσ atomic orbitals of each CH3 group will cause the formation of two molecular orbitals such together σx and also σx′.

Once the molecular orbitals space formed, the distribution of electrons into molecular orbitals takes place by complying with the Aufbau principle, Hund’s dominion of maximum multiplicity, and Pauli’s exemption principle.

Therefore, the electrons room filled in molecular orbitals in order of their increasing power such together σs σs′ πy = πz σx πy′ = πz′ σx′.

According to Pauli’s exemption principle, one atomic orbital can have a best of two electrons with opposite spins.

The same is likewise true because that molecular orbitals. The pairing of electron in the degenerate molecular orbitals will take place only once all the degenerate molecule orbitals space singly occupied.

Hence, the digital configuration that ethane molecule because that valance shell electron would be:

(σs)2(σs′)2(πy2 = πz2)(σx)2(πy′2 = πz′2)


Ethane or C2H6 is a saturated hydrocarbon and the second member the the alkane family. That is inert in ~ room temperature and also pressure and also hence, that is recognized as paraffin. However, it mirrors some chemical reactions under certain conditions. The nature of chemistry reactions deserve to be well construed by examining the straightforward concepts the the reactant molecule.

Here, we have learned to attract a Lewis structure of ethane molecule by complying with the octet rule and then, uncovered their molecular geometry, which come out to it is in tetrahedral because that both carbon atoms.

Afterward, we debated the hybridization and also polarity of ethane. In the last, we studied the molecular orbital diagram the ethane by considering the CH3 team as one atom for better understanding.

In short, we have studied every aspect of bonding in ethane.

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Please feel totally free to ask any kind of query pertained to the binding nature the the ethane molecule. Say thanks to you for analysis this article.