Drawing the Lewis Structure for CH3NO2

Transcript: There are two primary Lewis structures for CH3NO2. We'll do the first one by pretty much just drawing it out as we have in the structure above. So we have the Carbon surrounded by three Hydrogens, and the Nitrogen with two Oxygens around it. For the CH3NO2 Lewis structure, we have a total of 24 valence electrons. We'll form bonds between atoms, and each one of these bonds represents two electrons. We've used 12 valence electrons. And then we'll go around the outside of the Oxygens to fill their octets. So we have 12, 14, and 24 total valence electrons there.

The problem is, everything has an octet, and then the Hydrogens, they have two valence electrons, so their outer shell's full; except the Nitrogen in the center. It only has six valence electrons. So what we'll have to do is share valence electrons from one of the Oxygens. Let's take this pair right here and use that to form a bond here. So by forming that double bond, the Oxygen still has eight valence electrons, but now the Nitrogen has eight valence electrons, as well. And we're only using 24 valence electrons for the total CH3NO2 molecule.

So this is one Lewis structure for CH3NO2. It's called nitromethane. You could also draw the structure, methyl nitrite, as shown here. It's using the same number of valence electrons. Its formula is CH3NO2, but it's drawn differently and has a different arrangement of atoms and valence electrons.

So those are two possible structures for CH3NO2. This is Dr. B., and thanks for watching.