A really common question that is commonly asked is even if it is sulfur dioxide is one Ionic or Covalent bond. Prior to answering the question it is essential to understand certain characteristics the sulfur dioxide. It is a toxic colorless gas that indirectly contributes come greenhouse gas.

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Although the existence of sulfur dioxide is not numerous in the atmosphere of the earth, the traces of its presence can reason serious wellness impacts. The colorless gas is associated with a pungent odor which can add to throttle or suffocation. Sulfur dioxide is widely supplied for manufacturing chemicals, pulping paper, for handling food and also metal.

The brewing question that currently lies, Is Sulphur Dioxide Ionic or Covalent? Sulfur dioxide is a Covalent compound because, in the case of sulfur dioxide, two atoms possessing similar electronegativity try to link together. In act so, the slight difference of electronegativity between the two atoms outcomes in share of electron bonds developing covalent bonds.

In scenarios wherein atoms share electron in bespeak to finish the structure of one octet, this outcomes in the formation of covalently external inspection compounds.

In order to know the covalent bond of sulfur dioxide, the is crucial to comment on the Lewis framework of sulfur dioxide, VSEPR theory, and the acidic or an easy nature of sulfur dioxide.

The Lewis structure will give a clean idea around the resonance structure which outcomes in the development of the Covalent bond by Sulphur Dioxide.

The VSEPR theory helps in determining the polarity of the molecule Sulphur Dioxide which effects the Covalent Bond common by SO2.

Owing come the Covalent Bond developed by the SO2 molecule, the Sigma and Pi bond of SO2 will have an influential impact.

Position the Sulphur and Oxygen in the periodic Table

In the routine Table sulphur belongs come the group VI A. Sulphur being the second element the the group VI A belongs come the 3rd period.

There room three shells the sulphur which are namely the K, L and M.

Similar to the of Sulphur, Oxygen as well as belongs come the group VI A. Oxygen is the very first element the the group and also therefore belongs come the second period. It has two shells specific the K and L.

Element place Within the GroupSecondFirst
Period3rd Period2nd Period
Number that Shells3 – K, l & M2 – K, L
Total number of Electrons168
Number of Valence Electrons66

Lewis Structure

Popularly recognized as electron dot framework or Lewis dot framework is a depiction of the bonds i beg your pardon are created in in between the aspects of a molecule through the aid of a diagram.

You must likewise read the end the write-up written on the lewis structure, geometry the SO2.

The diagrammatic representation of the structure reflects that all the aspects of the molecules will have 0 formal charges.


The first Structure that Resonance

The electronegativity the Sulphur is 2.58 while because that Oxygen the is 3.44. Therefore, oxygen being comparatively more electronegative in nature will certainly be placed on one of two people side.

The facets being nonmetal with 6 valence electrons will certainly thus type Covalent bonds.

Sulfur will have the ability to make a twin Covalent link with among the oxygen atoms.

As a an outcome of which currently both the atoms will have actually 8 electrons.

However, there will certainly be one atom that oxygen that would be left behind as it needs 2 electrons.

In this case, Sulphur will have the ability to donate 1 lone pair to the oxygen atom causing the development of a coordinate Covalent bond.

This completes the resonance structure and also at the same time also satisfies the octet rule.

The 2nd Structure of Resonance

As disputed above, Sulphur has 3 shells and also therefore it has d orbit.

Being qualified of holding more than simply 8 electrons, an additional resonance structure have the right to be formed if the name: coordinates Covalent link is removed hence by do a twin Covalent bond.

In such a case the molecules will be neutral.


Reasons Behind Resonance

It have the right to be wondered about out the the two resonance structures which is an ext accurate.

We have actually tested both the structures and also can because of this conclude that the really structure can be drawn in between these two structures.

For magnified understanding, we have the right to say, Sulphur Dioxide has 2 double Covalent bonds and a fifty percent coordinate Covalent bond.

There is going to be the visibility of only one intermediate framework as the resonance structures space not continuous changing.

Reasons Behind intermediate Resonance Structure

The underlying factor for the intermediate resonance structure is the presence of the delocalized pi bond.

Owing to the weak structure of the pi bond they are able to delocalize themselves together a an outcome of i beg your pardon a complicated intermediate resonance structure is formed.

VSEPR theory for Sulphur Dioxide


In order come elaborately know the geometry the the molecule in addition to its bond angle and its polarity, it is important to have actually an idea about the concept of Valence covering Electron Pair Repulsion.

The theory suggests that electron pairs have actually a propensity to repel against each other to a position where the electrons are least repulsive. As a an outcome of which, particular molecules space straight while some space bent.

The process of hybridization likewise plays a major role. During the procedure of link formation, the orbits having various energies degrade themselves and also an outcome in the formation of similar numbers of identical orbits.

Consider the molecule that Sulphur Dioxide (SO2). The atom of sulfur and also oxygen will have 1s and 2p orbitals which space hybridized.

The SO2 molecule is bent and also not straight (straight). This is the prime factor for the SO2 molecule’s polarity wherein the edge of the shortcut is 120° and comprises a trigonal geometry.

The SO2 molecule no being linear, charges space unable come cancel out each other, and therefore SO2 creates a polar molecule.

A similar molecule that NO2 is additionally bent-shaped. Examine out the NO2 geometry.

Sigma and Pi binding of Sulphur Dioxide

According to the resonance framework where one dual Covalent shortcut will have actually 1 sigma and also 1 pi link present, we can state the SO2 has actually 2 sigma and also 2 pi bonds.

This deserve to be owed to the 2 double Covalent bonds i beg your pardon SO2 possesses where 2 oxygen atoms will have one different sigma and pi bonds respectively.

Acidic Nature of SO2

SO2 is not alkaline and is completely acidic in nature. Once dissolved in water that will start reacting with the water molecule leading to the formation of sulfurous acid H2SO3.

SO2 + H20 —-> H2SO3

Being the polar molecule SO2 easily dissolves in water however, the sulfurous acid ( H2SO3) is a weak mountain as compared to the Sulphuric acid (H2SO4).

SO2 as an Oxidizing Agent as well as Reducing Agent

Another amazing fact around Sulphur Dioxide is the it can act as both an Oxidizing Agent and a reducing Agent.

In SO2, Sulphur is composed of oxidation state +4 and also therefore can lose two electrons to achieve the oxidation state +6.

As a result, Sulphur Dioxide have the right to lose as well as gain electrons and also therefore acts as both oxidizing and reducing agent.

The Dipole State the Sulphur Dioxide

In the molecule of Sulphur Dioxide, there is a slight difference in electronegativity as we have discussed above.

The distinction of electronegativity between the atoms of sulfur and also oxygen and SO2 gift a polar molecule tends to have actually a dipole state or moment.

Therefore, it deserve to be reasonably stated that a dipole minute or state exists in SO2 whereby the value is 1.61 Debye.


Summarising the principle we deserve to now know that Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is a colorless gas through a contempt pungent smell which is very harmful and can reason choking problems. SO2 share a Covalent bond and therefore the molecule have the right to rightly be stated as a Covalent compound.

SO2 comprises a twin Covalent bond with one oxygen atom and also a name: coordinates bond with one more oxygen atom. The SO2 comprises 1s and 2p orbitals hybridized. Fan to the twin Covalent bond of the molecule Sulphur Dioxide, it has 2 sigma and 2 pi bonds.

SO2 has actually a bend structure and is not linear in nature. The bond angle being 120° SO2 becomes a polar molecule together the charges are unable come cancel the effects of each other. Sulfur Dioxide when liquified in water creates the weak sulfurous mountain H2SO3 and also their SO2 is acidic in nature.

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The polar molecule SO2 acts as both oxidizing and reducing agent and has a dipole value of 1.61 Debye.