Lewis Structure of CH3Cl (With 6 Simple Steps to Draw!)

Lewis Structure of CH3Cl

I’m super excited to teach you the lewis structure of CH3Cl (chloromethane) in just 6 simple steps.

Infact, I’ve also given the step-by-step images for drawing the lewis dot structure of CH3Cl molecule.

So, if you are ready to go with these 6 simple steps, then let’s dive right into it!

Lewis structure of CH3Cl contains a single bond between the Carbon (C) & Hydrogen (H) atoms as well as between the Carbon (C) & Chlorine (Cl) atom. The Carbon atom (C) is at the center and it is surrounded by three Hydrogen (H) and one Chlorine atom (Cl). The Chlorine atom has 3 lone pairs.

Let’s draw and understand this lewis dot structure step by step.

(Note: Take a pen and paper with you and try to draw this lewis structure along with me. I am sure you will definitely learn how to draw lewis structure of CH3Cl).

6 Steps to Draw the Lewis Structure of CH3Cl

Step #1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons

Here, the given molecule is CH3Cl. In order to draw the lewis structure of CH3Cl, first of all you have to find the total number of valence electrons present in the CH3Cl molecule.
(Valence electrons are the number of electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom).

So, let’s calculate this first.

Calculation of valence electrons in CH3Cl

  • For Carbon:

Carbon is a group 14 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electrons present in carbon is 4 (see below image).

  • For Hydrogen: 

Hydrogen is a group 1 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electron present in hydrogen is 1 (see below image).

  • For Chlorine:

Chlorine is a group 17 element on the periodic table.

Hence, the valence electron present in chlorine is 7 (see below image).

Hence in a CH3Cl molecule, 

Valence electrons given by Carbon (C) atom = 4
Valence electron given by each Hydrogen (H) atom = 1
Valence electrons given by Chlorine (Cl) atom = 7
So, total number of Valence electrons in CH3Cl molecule = 4 + 1(3) + 7 = 14

Step #2: Select the center atom (H is always outside)

While selecting the center atom, always put the least electronegative atom at the center.

(Remember: Fluorine is the most electronegative element on the periodic table and the electronegativity decreases as we move right to left in the periodic table as well as top to bottom in the periodic table).

Here in the CH3Cl molecule, if we compare the carbon atom (C) and chlorine atom (Cl), then the carbon is less electronegative than chlorine.

So, carbon should be placed in the center and the chlorine atom will surround it.

Also as per the rule, we have to keep hydrogen outside.

step 1

Step #3: Put two electrons between the atoms to represent a chemical bond

Now in the above sketch of CH3Cl molecule, put the two electrons (i.e electron pair) between the carbon-hydrogen atoms and carbon-chlorine atoms to represent a chemical bond between them.

step 2

These pairs of electrons present between the Carbon & Chlorine atom as well as between the Carbon & Hydrogen atoms form a chemical bond, which bonds these atoms with each other in a CH3Cl molecule.

Step #4: Complete the octet (or duplet) on outside atoms. If the valence electrons are left, then put the valence electrons pair on the central atom

Don’t worry, I’ll explain!

In the Lewis structure of CH3Cl, the outer atoms are hydrogen atoms and chlorine atom.

So now, you have to check whether these hydrogen atoms are forming a duplet or not! (because hydrogen requires only 2 electrons to have a complete outer shell).

You also have to see whether the chlorine atom is forming an octet or not! (because chlorine requires 8 electrons to have a complete outer shell).

step 3

You can see in the above image that all the hydrogen atoms form a duplet. And the chlorine atom also form an octet.

Also, all the 14 valence electrons of CH3Cl molecule (as calculated in step #1) are used in the above structure. So there are no remaining electron pairs.

Hence there is no change in the above sketch of CH3Cl.

Let’s move to the next step.

Step #5: Check whether the central atom has octet or not

In this step, we have to check whether the central atom (i.e carbon) has an octet or not. 

In simple words, we have to check whether the central Carbon (C) atom is having 8 electrons or not.

step 4

As you can see from the above image, the central atom (i.e carbon), is having 8 electrons. So it fulfills the octet rule and the carbon atom is stable.

Step #6: Final step – Check the stability of lewis structure by calculating the formal charge on each atom

Now, you have come to the final step and here you have to check the formal charge on carbon atom (C), chlorine (Cl) atom as well as hydrogen atoms (H).

For that, you need to remember the formula of formal charge;

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

step 5
  • For Carbon:
    Valence electrons = 4 (as it is in group 14)
    Nonbonding electrons = 0
    Bonding electrons = 8
  • For Chlorine:
    Valence electron = 7 (as it is in group 17)
    Nonbonding electrons = 6
    Bonding electrons = 2
  • For Hydrogen:
    Valence electron = 1 (as it is in group 1)
    Nonbonding electrons = 0
    Bonding electrons = 2
Formal charge=Valence electronsNonbonding electrons(Bonding electrons)/2

So you can see above that the formal charges on carbon, chlorine as well as hydrogen are “zero”.

Hence, there will not be any change in the above structure and the above lewis structure of CH3Cl is the final stable structure only.

Each electron pair (:) in the lewis dot structure of CH3Cl represents the single bond ( | ). So the above lewis dot structure of CH3Cl can also be represented as shown below.

CH3Cl Lewis Structure

Related lewis structures for your practice:
Lewis structure of HBr
Lewis structure of N2H4
Lewis structure of CH3NH2
Lewis structure of SiO2
Lewis structure of SiH4

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