Ethane is one of the simplest hydrocarbons to exist after Methane. Having a chemical formula of C2H6, it is made up of two Carbon and six Hydrogen atoms. It is used in many industries and more widely used in ethylene production. The chemical and physical properties of any molecule can be determined if we know the Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, and Polarity of the molecule.
To determine the polarity of Ethane, we will first need to look at is Lewis Structure. We have also shared a detailed blog on the Lewis Dot Structure of Ethane previously which you can check out if you want to find out the number of valence electrons and the process of making C2H6 Lewis Structure step-by-step.
When we say it has the most simple structure, it is because only two types of atoms are used in making this molecule. Here as you can see, each Hydrogen atom shares one valence electron of the Carbon atom to complete its octet. This way all the Hydrogen atoms have two valence electrons in their outer shell making them stable.
The Carbon atom also completes its octet by having valence electrons in its outer shell, as it is sharing all its four electrons ( three with Hydrogen atoms and one with Carbon atom). As a result, all the valence electrons are used up, and there are no nonbonding pairs of electrons in this molecule.
Polarity of C2H6
A molecule that has an uneven distribution of charges which results in partial positive charges on one end and partial negative charges on the other terminal is known as a polar molecule. If the molecule is polar, it will have a net dipole moment, and its direction will be from the least electronegative atom towards the most electronegative atom.
The molecule’s polarity depends mainly on two factors: 1.difference in the electronegativities of the atoms in the molecule and 2—nonbonding pairs of electrons in the molecule.
In C2H6, there is quite a little difference in electronegativities between Hydrogen and Carbon atoms, which means that the C-H bonds are nonpolar. Apart from that, there are no lone pairs of electrons, and hence there is no distortion of shape or pushing of electron pairs due to repulsive forces.
Is C2H6 polar or nonpolar?
Ethane or C2H6 is a nonpolar molecule because:
There is significantly less difference in the electronegativities of Hydrogen and Carbon forming bonds in this structure.
There is 0 difference in electronegativity of the Carbon atoms forming bonds with each other.
Hence there is no pulling of electron pairs, resulting in no dipole moment in the molecule, making Ethane a nonpolar molecule. As a result of its polarity, Ethane doesn’t dissolve in water.