# What is the Charge on Acetic acid (CH3COOH)? And Why?

The Charge of CH3COOH (Acetic acid) is 0.

But the question is how can you say that the charge on CH3COOH (Acetic acid) is 0?

Well you can say this by calculating its formal charge.

So let’s calculate the formal charge of CH3COOH (Acetic acid).

You can also refer to the below video from which you will learn to find charge of any ion.

## Calculating the formal charge of CH3COOH using lewis structure

In order to calculate the formal charge on CH3COOH (Acetic acid), you should know the Lewis dot structure of CH3COOH (Acetic acid).

Here is the lewis structure of CH3COOH.

Now using the above lewis structure of CH3COOH, you have to find the formal charge on each atom that is present in the CH3COOH molecule.

For calculating the formal charge, you need to remember this formula;

Formal charge = Valence electrons – Nonbonding electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2

You can see the bonding and nonbonding electrons of CH3COOH from the image given below.

So now let’s calculate the formal charge on each individual atom present in CH3COOH.

Formal charge on Carbon atom:
Valence electrons = 4 (as it is in group 14 on periodic table) [1]
Nonbonding electrons = 0
Bonding electrons = 8

So according to the formula of formal charge, you will get;

Formal charge on Carbon = Valence electrons – Nonbonding electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2 = 4 – 0 – (8/2) = 0

So the formal charge on carbon atom is 0.

Formal charge on Hydrogen atom:
Valence electron = 1 (as it is in group 1 on periodic table) [2]
Nonbonding electrons = 0
Bonding electrons = 2

So according to the formula of formal charge, you will get;

Formal charge on Hydrogen = Valence electrons – Nonbonding electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2 = 1 – 0 – (2/2) = 0

So the formal charge on hydrogen atom is 0.

Formal charge on Oxygen atom:
Valence electron = 6 (as it is in group 16 on periodic table) [3]
Nonbonding electrons = 4
Bonding electrons = 4

So according to the formula of formal charge, you will get;

Formal charge on Oxygen = Valence electrons – Nonbonding electrons – (Bonding electrons)/2 = 6 – 4 – (4/2) = 0

So the formal charge on oxygen atom is 0.

Now you can see that all the atoms of CH3COOH have 0 formal charge.

This indicates that the overall CH3COOH (Acetic acid) molecule also has 0 charge and hence it is a neutral molecule.

I hope you have understood the above calculations for the formal charge of CH3COOH (Acetic acid).

Check out some other related topics for your practice.

Author
##### Jay Rana

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. With a desire to make learning accessible for everyone, he founded Knords Learning, an online learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.