# What is the Charge on Methane (CH4)? And Why?

The Charge of Methane (CH4) is 0.

But the question is how can you say that the charge on CH4 (Methane) is 0?

Well you can say this by calculating its formal charge.

So let’s calculate the formal charge of CH4 (Methane).

If you are a visual learner like me, then here is a short two minute video for you.

## Calculating the formal charge of CH4 using lewis structure

In order to calculate the formal charge on CH4 (Methane), you should know the Lewis dot structure of CH4 (Methane).

Here is the lewis structure of CH4.

Now using the above lewis structure of CH4, you have to find the formal charge on each atom that is present in the CH4 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 CH4 from the image given below.

So now let’s calculate the formal charge on each individual atom present in CH4.

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.

Now you can see that all the atoms of CH4 have 0 formal charge.

This indicates that the overall CH4 (Methane) 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 CH4 (Methane).

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.