NaOH/Sodium Hydroxide Lewis Structure (with 6 steps)/ Properties/ Polar and non-polar nature: Complete Amazing Overview

Sodium hydroxide, often known as caustic soda, is a widely used chemical component with several uses in a variety of industries and in daily life. It has the chemical formula NaOH and is an inorganic base. In sodium hydroxide Lewis structure, the oxygen atom in the center of sodium hydroxide’s (NaOH) is surrounded by one hydrogen atom and one sodium atom by single bonds. It is a stable configuration because each atom satisfies the octet rule and has zero formal charges.

Among the most commonly used industrial chemicals, sodium hydroxide is noted for its potent alkaline characteristics. The chloralkali method, which entails brine (sodium chloride solution) electrolysis, is the main technique to generate it industrially. As a byproduct of this process, sodium hydroxide, chlorine gas, and hydrogen gas are created.

Typically, sodium hydroxide is found in hygroscopic, white, odorless flakes, pellets, or beads. It dissolves easily in water and produces a caustic, corrosive, and extremely alkaline solution. When in contact with skin, the solution can result in severe chemical burns and can be dangerous if handled improperly.

Properties of Sodium Hydroxide:

  1. Melting Point: The melting point is approximately 318°C.
  2. Boiling Point: The boiling point is around 1388°C and at this temperature, it transforms from a liquid to a gaseous state.
  3. Density: The density of solid phase = 2.13 g/cm³, the density of its 50% aqueous solution = 1.52 g/cm³
  1. Saponification: It is a crucial component in the process of saponification that creates soap. Oils and fats react with sodium hydroxide, creating soap molecules and glycerol.
  2. Carbonation: The reaction of CO2 with NaOH to produce sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) is called carbonation.
  3. Solubility: The solubility of sodium hydroxide in water increases with temperature. It dissolves easily and turns into a strongly alkaline solution.
  4. Strong Alkali: One example of a strong alkali is sodium hydroxide. It releases hydroxide ions (OH) when dissolved in water, which can then react with acids to produce salt and water.
  5. Neutralization: Sodium hydroxide can neutralize acids since it is a potent base and produces salt and water.
  6. Deliquescence: Solid sodium hydroxide quickly absorbs moisture from the environment because it is hygroscopic. As a result, in humid environments, it may become damp or disintegrate.
  7. Organic Material Degradation: Sodium hydroxide can dissolve or destroy organic materials, including paper, wood, and fabrics, due to its potent alkaline characteristics.

Sodium hydroxide, polar or non-polar:

NaOH is a polar compound

Due to the unequal charge distribution, a polar molecule has partial positive and partial negative charges in molecule. In case of sodium hydroxide, the oxygen (O) drags the shared electrons towards itself. As an outcome, the oxygen atom gain partial negative charge. On the other hand, sodium atom retains a partial positive charge (+). Because of how their charges are distributed, polar chemicals like sodium hydroxide frequently interact strongly with other polar substances and have distinct features.

The polar nature of sodium hydroxide allows it to readily dissolve in water, as water has partial negative charge on oxygen atom and partial positive charge on hydrogen atom, which allows water to act as a polar molecule. Dissolution of sodium hydroxide is caused by the attraction of the positive sodium ion to the water’s negative oxygen and hydrogen ions.

Sodium hydroxide lewis structure:

In the sodium hydroxide Lewis structure, the sodium atom (Na) is shown in the center, surrounded by one oxygen atom (O) and one hydrogen atom (H).  Covalent bonding connects the oxygen atom to the hydrogen atom as well as the sodium atom. The Lewis structure does not display a single electron pair on the oxygen atom.

A molecule’s or an ion’s Lewis structure is a two-dimensional diagram that depicts how its atoms and valence electrons are arranged. The steps listed below must be followed in order to sketch the sodium hydroxide Lewis structure in detail.

Step 1: Count Valence Electrons:

First, Find out the total number of valance electron in molecule. For sodium hydroxide Lewis structure:

  • Sodium has one valance electron.
  • Oxygen has six valance electrons.
  • Hydrogen has one valance electron.

So, the total valance electrons are 8, 1 + 6 + 1 = 8

Step 2: Determine Central Metal Atom:

In Lewis structures, sodium (Na), a metal present in NaOH, normally does not form multiple bonds. Oxygen (O), which will create the center atom, is more electronegative than hydrogen (H).

Step 3: Arrange Atoms:

Put the sodium and hydrogen atoms around the oxygen atom in the middle. To create the skeleton structure, join them together using single links.

Step 4: Place Lone Pairs:

To satisfy the octet rule of each atom, distribute the remaining valance electrons around the atom as lone pair (except hydrogen, which can only accommodate two valence electrons). Start with the outer atoms (hydrogen) and then place the remaining lone pairs on the central atom (oxygen).

Step 5: Check Octet Rule:

Check that each atom (except hydrogen) has a complete octet (8 electrons) by counting the valence electrons around each atom. In this case, oxygen has 2 lone pairs (4 electrons) and 2 bonding electrons (from the two single bonds), makes the total 6 electrons. Sodium has 2 bonding electrons (from the single bond) and no lone pair, for a total of 2 electrons.

Step 6: Formal Charge:

To check the stable arrangement of electrons, we can calculate the formal charges for each atom. The formal charge is calculated as:

Formal Charge = (Lone Pair Electrons + 0.5 × Bonding Electrons) – Valance electrons

For example, for oxygen: Formal Charge = 6 – (4 + 0.5 × 4) = 6 – 6 = 0

For sodium: Formal Charge = 1 – (0 + 0.5 × 2) = 1 – 1 = 0

Both oxygen and sodium have formal charges of 0, indicating that the Lewis structure is the most stable arrangement of electrons.


In conclusion, sodium hydroxide is an essential chemical substance having a wide range of uses in many sectors. Due to its potent alkaline characteristics, it is a useful reagent in many different processes, including manufacturing, cleaning, and water treatment. However, because it is corrosive, suitable safety measures must be taken when handling and using it.

In sodium hydroxide lewis structure, the oxygen atom in the center of sodium hydroxide’s (NaOH) surrounded by one hydrogen atoms and one sodium atom by single bonds. It is a stable configuration because each atom satisfies the octet rule and has zero formal charges.

To know more about the Lewis structure, visit Carbon Disulfide Lewis Structure (with 6 steps): Complete Overview

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