Acetic acid lewis structure

The Lewis structure of acetic acid (CH3COOH) represents its molecular structure, showing how the atoms are linked and how valence electrons are distributed between the atoms. Here is the Lewis structure for acetic acid.

Acetic acid lewis structure

Step 1: Calculate the total number of valence electrons for all the atoms in the molecule.

  • Carbon (C) has 4 valence electrons.
  • Hydrogen (H) has 1 valence electron.
  • Oxygen (O) has 6 valence electrons.
  • Acetic acid (CH3COOH) contains 2 carbon atoms, 4 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms.

Total valence electrons = (2 × 4) + (4 × 1) + (2 × 6) = 8 + 4 + 12 = 24 electrons.

Step 2: Determine the Central Atom. In acetic acid, one of the carbon atoms will serve as the central atom.

Step 3: Connect the atoms using single bonds (pairs of electrons) between the central carbon atom and the surrounding atoms (hydrogen and oxygen atoms).

Step 4: Distribute the remaining valence electrons as lone pairs on the oxygen atoms to satisfy their octet (except hydrogen, which needs only 2 electrons).

Step 5: Check if the central atom (carbon) has an octet. If it doesn't, you may need to use some lone pairs on the oxygen to form double bonds with the carbon atoms until the central atom and all the other atoms have a full octet.

Here is the Lewis structure of acetic acid:



H - C - O




      C - H



In this Lewis structure:

The central carbon atom has a full octet (8 electrons) because it forms a double bond with one of the oxygen atoms.

Each hydrogen atom has two electrons (a single bond).

Both oxygen atoms have a complete octet with 8 electrons each (some of these electrons are shared in bonds).

This Lewis structure represents the arrangement of the atoms and valence electrons in acetic acid, showing the single and double bonds in the molecule.

pka of acetic acid

The pKa (acid dissociation constant) of acetic acid (CH3COOH) is approximately 4.76 at 25°C (298.15 K). This pKa value indicates the degree of ionization of acetic acid in an aqueous solution and its ability to donate a proton (H+) to water to form acetate ion (CH3COO-) and hydronium ion (H3O+). In other words, acetic acid is a weak acid that dissociates only partially in water.

ka of acetic acid

The equilibrium constant for the ionization of acetic acid (CH3COOH) in water is often represented as Ka, which represents the acid dissociation constant. For ionization of acetic acid, the equilibrium reaction is as follows:

  • CH3COOH (aq) ⇌ CH3COO- (aq) + H+ (aq)

  • The expression for Ka of acetic acid can be written as:

  • Ka = [CH3COO-][H+] / [CH3COOH]


  • [CH3COO-] represents the concentration of acetate ions (CH3COO-) in solution.

  • [H+] represents the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) in solution.

  • [CH3COOH] represents the initial concentration of acetic acid.

The Ka value for acetic acid at 25°C (298.15 K) is approximately 1.8 x 10^-5. This value indicates that acetic acid is a weak acid because it is only partially ionized in water, and the equilibrium is more to the left, with most of the acetic acid remaining in its molecular form in solution.