CH3NO2 Lewis Structure & Characteristics (15 Helpful Facts)

Nitromethane is the simplest nitro organic compound which has a CH3NO2 chemical formula. It has a molar mass of 61.04 g/mol. Let us discuss various facts of CH3NO2 lewis structure in detail.

In the CH3NO2 lewis structure single bond is present between carbon & nitrogen atom. A carbon atom is attached with three hydrogen atoms & nitrogen is attached with two oxygen atoms. An oxygen atom with a single bond has 3 lone pairs while oxygen with a double bond has 2 lone pairs.

CH3NO2 is a nitroalkane which is formed when one hydrogen of methane is replaced with a nitro group. Now we discuss hybridization, valence electrons, shape, polarity and many more facts.

How to draw CH3NO2 lewis structure?

Lewis structure tells us about the arrangements of atoms and bonds. Electrons are represented by dots and bonds are represented by lines. Let us see Lewis’s structure of CH3NO2.

Total number of valence electrons in the CH3NO2 molecule

A total of 24 valence electrons are present in the CH3NO2 molecule. Out of them, carbon has 4 valence electrons, hydrogens have 3 valence electrons, nitrogen has 5 and two oxygen has 12 hence a total of 4+3+5+12 = 24.

Select the central atom

Always place the least electronegative atom in the center. In the CH3NO2 molecule, the carbon atom has the least electronegative than nitrogen and oxygen. Hence carbon is placed in the center which is surrounded by hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen.

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Central atom of CH3NO2

Bonding in the CH3NO2 molecule

In the CH3NO2 molecule, two electron pairs are placed between the atoms in that molecule. These pairs of electrons form a covalent bond between them.

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Bonding in CH3NO2

Octet in CH3NO2 molecule

In the CH3NO2 molecule, hydrogen and oxygen are the outer atoms. Hydrogen has already completed its duplet by forming a bond with a carbon atom. While the oxygen atom has to complete its octet by having 8 electrons in its outer shell.

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Lewis structure of CH3NO2

CH3NO2 lewis structure shape

VSEPR theory describes the shape of the molecule. Let us see the shape of CH3NO2.

Lewis structure shape of CH3NO2 molecule is tetrahedral and trigonal planer. because CH3NO2 has two central atoms carbon and nitrogen. A carbon atom is attached with 3 hydrogen atoms while nitrogen is attached with two oxygen atoms.

According to VSEPR theory central carbon atom shows AX4 generic formula. Because it has 4 bonded atoms hence showing a tetrahedral shape. While the nitrogen atom shows AX3 generic formula because it is bonded with 3 atoms hence showing a trigonal planer shape.

CH3NO2 Lewis structure formal charge

Lewis structure formal charges are calculated by subtracting valence electrons, bond pairs and lone pairs. Let us calculate the formal charges of the CH3NO2 molecule.

The formal charge of CH3NO2 is 0. Which is calculated as follows.

Formal charge = No. of valence electrons- no. of lone pair electrons – ½ no. of bonding electrons

  • Formal charge of C in CH3NO2 = 4 – 0 – ½ (8) = 0
  • Formal charge of N in CH3NO2 = 5 – 0 – ½ (8) = 1
  • Formal charge of H in CH3NO2 = 1- 0- ½ (2) = 0
  • Formal charge of O in CH3NO2 = 6 – 6- ½ (2) = -1
  • Here 1 and -1 formal charges of nitrogen and oxygen get cancelled with each other and the overall formal charge is zero. 

CH3NO2 Lewis structure angle

Lewis structure angle is made by the atoms and bonds present in the molecule. let us find out the bond angle of CH3NO2.

Lewis structure angle of CH3NO2 is 109.5o and 120o. The hydrogen – carbon-hydrogen bond angle is 109.5o and carbon-nitrogen–oxygen shows 120o. Also, hydrogen – carbon -nitrogen are in the liner position therefore they show a 180o bond angle.

CH3NO2  lewis structure octet rule

According to the octet rule, all the atoms must contain 8 electrons in their outermost orbital for achieving a stable electronic configuration. Let us look out octet rule in CH3NO2.

CH3NO2 follows the octet rule. The carbon atom has 4 valence electrons it combines with 3 hydrogens and 1 nitrogen atom and satisfies its octet. Hydrogen requires 1 electron to complete its duplet it combines with carbon and completes its duplet.

Nitrogen has required 5 electrons to complete its octet they accept 4 electrons from two oxygen atom and 1 electron from the carbon atom and complete its octet. Also, oxygen requires 2 electrons to complete it octet they accept two electrons from nitrogen and an electron form lone pair.

CH3NO2 Lewis structure lone pairs

Lewis structure lone pair of electrons do not participate in the bond formation. Let us determine the lone pairs of CH3NO2 molecules.

CH3NO2 Lewis structure has 5 lone pairs on oxygen atom remaining carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen do not contain lone pairs.  All the atoms in the CH3NO2 molecule complete their octet. Oxygen has only two bonding pairs remaining electrons represent the lone pair.

CH3NO2 valence electrons

Valence electrons are those which are present in the outermost orbital of the molecule and form during bond formation. Let us find out the valence electrons in CH3NO2.

 CH3NO2 contain a total of 24 valence electrons. Out of them, carbon has 6, 3 hydrogen has 3, nitrogen has 5 and two oxygen has 12 valence electrons. Hence total 6+3+5+12 = 24.

CH3NO2 hybridization

Hybridization involves the mixing of orbitals which are having the same shape and same energy level to form a hybrid orbital. Let us find out the hybridization of CH3NO2.

CH3NO2 has Sp3 hybridization in a carbon atom. When s and 3 p orbital combine to form 4 sp3 hybrid orbitals in CH3NO2. Since the carbon atom has 4 valence electrons.

On the other hand, the nitrogen atom shows sp2 hybridization. There are 5 valence shells in a nitrogen atom.  It forms 2 sigma bonds with carbon and oxygen atom and a 1 pi bond with another oxygen atom.

 Properties of CH3NO2

The physical properties of CH3NO2 are given in tabular format.

Properties Values
Molecular Weight 61.04 g/mol
Molecular Density 139 at 68o F
Boiling Point 101.2oC
Melting Point -29oC
Properties of CH3NO2

CH3NO2 solubility

The solubility of any compound depends upon its capability to dissolve at its maximum in water or any solvent. Let us look at the solubility of CH3NO2.

CH3NO2 is soluble in water. Both CH3NO2 and water are polar compounds here they follow like dissolve like principle of solubility. Methane which is present in the CH3NO2 molecule is completely dissolved in water.

Apart from water CH3NO2 can be soluble in the following solvents.

  • Alcohol
  • Ether
  • Acetone
  • Dimethylformamide.

Is CH3NO2 solid or liquid?

Physical state of compound depends upon the arrangement of atoms. If atoms are closely packed, then it is solid and loosely pack then liquid nature. Let us see nature of CH3NO2.

CH3NO2 is a liquid compound. All the atoms in the nitromethane (CH3NO2) are loosely bound due to Vander Waals force between them.

Is CH3NO2 polar or nonpolar?

The polarity of any compound determines by the electron charge distribution and electronegativity difference between the atoms. Let us see whether CH3NO2 is polar or non-polar.

CH3NO2 is polar in nature. In this molecule, there is unequal electron charge distribution which created one positively charge end and another negative charge end. Also, the CH3NO2 molecule has a higher dipole moment.

Is CH3NO2 acid or base?

According to lewis concept electron pair acceptors and electron pair donors are acid or base respectively. Let us look at whether CH3NO2 is acidic or basic.

CH3NO2 is acidic in nature. Nitromethane has an electron-withdrawing -NO2 group this nitro group withdraws electron density on carbon toward itself. Due to this C-H bond becomes weak.

Therefore, the cleavage of the C-H bond becomes easy hence CH3NO2 accepts electron pairs. It cannot donate electron pairs.

Is CH3NO2 electrolyte?

Electrolytes are compounds that dissolved in solvents and dissociate into ions. These ions carry electricity. Let us find out whether CH3NO2 is an electrolyte or not.

CH3NO2 is an electrolyte. When it dissolves in water or any other solvent it dissociates into C+, H+, NO2ions. These ions carry electric charges all the particles have highly charge so they move as fast as possible.

Is CH3NO2 ionic or covalent?

Covalent compounds form a sigma bond between the atoms while ionic compounds are formed by the electrostatic force of attraction. Let us see whether CH3NO2 is ionic or covalent.

CH3NO2 is a covalent compound. It forms a sigma bond between carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. All the atoms in a molecule form a bond by sharing electrons with each other.

Is CH3NO2 tetrahedral?

According to VSEPR theory, those molecules which show the AX4 generic formula has a tetrahedral shape. Let us see whether CH3NO2 is tetrahedral or not.

CH3NO2 is a tetrahedral shape. It has two central atoms carbon and nitrogen. Out of them carbon is attached with four atoms and forms 4 sigma bonds and shows AX4 generic hybridization. Hence it has a tetrahedral shape.


CH3NO2 or nitromethane is a simple organic polar liquid. It has sp3 and sp2 hybridization with a bond angle of 109.50 and 1200. Also, the shape of CH3NO2 is a trigonal planer and tetrahedral. All other facts of CH3NO2 are described in this article.

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