A an extremely common concern that is typically asked is whether sulfur dioxide is an Ionic or Covalent bond. Before answering the inquiry it is important to understand certain characteristics the sulfur dioxide. It is a toxicity colorless gas that indirectly contributes come greenhouse gas.

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Although the presence of sulfur dioxide is not plentiful in the setting of the earth, the traces the its existence can cause serious health and wellness impacts. The colorless gas is associated with a pungent odor which can add to choke or suffocation. Sulfur dioxide is widely used for manufacturing chemicals, pulping paper, for processing food and metal.

The brewing question that currently lies, Is Sulphur Dioxide Ionic or Covalent? Sulfur dioxide is a Covalent compound because, in the instance of sulfur dioxide, two atoms possessing comparable electronegativity shot to link together. In doing so, the slight difference of electronegativity in between the 2 atoms outcomes in share of electron bonds creating covalent bonds.

In scenarios wherein atoms share electrons in bespeak to finish the structure of an octet, this results in the formation of covalently bonded compounds.

In order to know the covalent shortcut of sulfur dioxide, it is crucial to discuss the Lewis structure of sulfur dioxide, VSEPR theory, and the acidic or an easy nature the sulfur dioxide.

The Lewis framework will offer a clean idea about the resonance framework 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 impacts the Covalent Bond mutual by SO2.

Owing to the Covalent Bond formed by the SO2 molecule, the Sigma and also Pi bond of SO2 will have an prominent impact.

Position the Sulphur and also Oxygen in the periodic Table

In the regular Table sulphur belongs to the team VI A. Sulphur gift the 2nd element that the team VI A belongs to the third period.

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

Similar to the of Sulphur, Oxygen and also belongs come the team VI A. Oxygen is the an initial element that the group and also therefore belongs to the second period. It has two shells namely the K and L.

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

Lewis Structure

Popularly well-known as electron dot framework or Lewis dot structure is a representation of the bonds i m sorry are created in between the elements of a molecule v the aid of a diagram.

You must also read the end the article written ~ above the lewis structure, geometry of SO2.

The diagrammatic depiction of the structure mirrors that every the aspects of the molecules will have 0 officially charges.


The very first Structure that Resonance

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

The facets being nonmetal through 6 valence electrons will thus kind Covalent bonds.

Sulfur will be able to make a twin Covalent bond with one of the oxygen atoms.

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

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

In this case, Sulphur will be able to donate 1 lone pair come the oxygen atom bring about the development of a name: coordinates Covalent bond.

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

The 2nd Structure of Resonance

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

Being qualified of holding more than simply 8 electrons, another resonance structure deserve to be developed if the coordinate Covalent bond is removed thus by making a dual Covalent bond.

In together a situation the molecules will be neutral.


Reasons Behind Resonance

It have the right to be wondered about out the the 2 resonance frameworks which is more accurate.

We have tested both the structures and also can therefore conclude that the really structure can be drawn in in between these 2 structures.

For amplified understanding, we have the right to say, Sulphur Dioxide has actually 2 dual Covalent bonds and also a half coordinate Covalent bond.

There is walk to it is in the visibility of just one intermediate structure as the resonance structures room not continually changing.

Reasons Behind intermediary Resonance Structure

The underlying reason for the intermediate resonance framework is the existence of the delocalized pi bond.

Owing come the weak structure of the pi bonds they room able to delocalize themselves as a result of i m sorry a complex intermediate resonance structure is formed.

VSEPR theory for Sulphur Dioxide


In order to elaborately recognize the geometry the the molecule together with its shortcut angle and also its polarity, it is important to have actually an idea around the theory of Valence covering Electron Pair Repulsion.

The theory suggests that electron pairs have a tendency to repel versus each various other to a position where the electron are least repulsive. As a result of which, specific molecules space straight while some are bent.

The process of hybridization additionally plays a major role. Throughout the process of bond formation, the orbits having various energies degrade themselves and also an outcome in the development of similar numbers of similar orbits.

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

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

The SO2 molecule not being linear, charges space unable to cancel out each other, and also therefore SO2 develops a polar molecule.

A comparable molecule that NO2 is additionally bent-shaped. Inspect out the NO2 geometry.

Sigma and Pi bonds of Sulphur Dioxide

According to the resonance structure where one double Covalent shortcut will have 1 sigma and 1 pi link present, we have the right to state that SO2 has 2 sigma and also 2 pi bonds.

This deserve to be fan to the 2 twin Covalent bonds which SO2 possesses wherein 2 oxygen atom will have actually one different sigma and also pi binding respectively.

Acidic Nature that SO2

SO2 is not alkaline and also is totally acidic in nature. Once liquified in water the will start reacting through the water molecule causing the development of sulfurous acid H2SO3.

SO2 + H20 —-> H2SO3

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

SO2 as an Oxidizing Agent and Reducing Agent

Another amazing fact about Sulphur Dioxide is that it have the right to act together both one Oxidizing Agent as well as a reduce Agent.

In SO2, Sulphur consists of oxidation state +4 and therefore have the right to lose 2 electrons to acquire the oxidation state +6.

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

The Dipole State that Sulphur Dioxide

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

The distinction of electronegativity in between the atoms of sulfur and also oxygen and SO2 being a polar molecule has tendency to have actually a dipole state or moment.

Therefore, it can be relatively stated the a dipole moment or state exists in SO2 whereby the worth is 1.61 Debye.


Summarising the concept we deserve to now recognize that Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is a colorless gas through a slightly pungent odor which is exceptionally harmful and can cause choking problems. SO2 share a Covalent bond and also therefore the molecule deserve to rightly be stated as a Covalent compound.

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

SO2 has actually a bending structure and is not direct in nature. The link angle gift 120° SO2 i do not care a polar molecule together the charges are unable come cancel the impacts of each other. Sulfur Dioxide when liquified in water develops the weak sulfurous acid H2SO3 and also their SO2 is acidic in nature.

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