Call Us: US - +1 845 478 5244 | UK - +44 20 7193 7850 | AUS - +61 2 8005 4826

Estimate the enthalpy change for the reaction 2CO + O2 ® 2CO2 given the following bond energies………

The theory of molecular shape known as valence-shell electron-pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory grew out of Lewis’s theory, and, like that approach to bonding, VSEPR focuses on the role of electron pairs. It stems from the work of the British chemists H.M. Powell and Nevil V. Sidgwick in the 1940s and was extensively developed by R.J. Gillespie in Canada and Ronald S. Nyholm in London during the 1960s. As such, it postdates quantum mechanical theories of bonding and shape but should be seen (as is so common a motivation in chemistry) as an attempt to identify the essential features of a problem and to formulate them into a simple qualitative procedure for rationalization and prediction.

A Lewis structure, as shown above, is a topological portrayal of bonding in a molecule. It ascribes bonding influences to electron pairs that lie between atoms and acknowledges the existence of lone pairs of electrons that do not participate directly in the bonding. The VSEPR theory supposes that all electron pairs, both bonding pairs and lone pairs, repel each other—particularly if they are close—and that the molecular shape is such as to minimize these repulsions. The approach is commonly applied to species in which there is an identifiable central atom (the oxygen atom in H2O, for instance), but it is straightforward to extend it to discussions of the local shape at any given atom in a polyatomic species.