Beryllium chloride (BeCl2) lewis dot structure, molecular geometry, hybridization, polar or nonpolar, bond angle

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BeCl2 lewis structure molecular geometry

Beryllium chloride appears as white or yellow crystals, soluble in many polar solvents such as alcohol, ether, benzene, and pyridine. It has a chemical formula of BeCl2.

In this tutorial, we will discuss Beryllium chloride (BeCl2) lewis structure, molecular geometry, electron geometry, hybridization, polar or nonpolar, its bond angle, etc.

Beryllium chloride has a hexagonal crystal structure. BeCl2 is prepared by direct reaction of elemental beryllium with chlorine at high temperatures.

⇒ Be + Cl2 → BeCl2

Name of MoleculeBeryllium chloride
Chemical formulaBeCl2
Molecular geometry of BeCl2Linear
Electron geometry of BeCl2Linear
NatureNonpolar molecule
Total Valence electron for BeCl216

How to draw lewis structure of BeCl2?

BeCl2 Lewis structure contains beryllium atom in central position whereas both chlorine atom on either side of it. There is no lone pair present on the central atom but 3 lone pairs present on each outer atom in the lewis dot structure of BeCl2.

BeCl2 Lewis structure is exceptional to the octet rule as its central atom doesn’t require 8 electrons in the outermost shell to attain stability.

Let’s see how to draw this in a simple way.

Follow some steps for drawing the lewis dot structure for BeCl2

1. Count total valence electron in BeCl2

First of all, determine the valence electron that is available for drawing the lewis structure of BeCl2 because the lewis diagram is all about the representation of valence electrons on atoms.

So, an easy way to find the valence electron of atoms in the BeCl2 molecule is, just to look at the periodic group of beryllium and chlorine atoms.

As beryllium atom belongs to group 2nd in periodic table and chlorine situated in 17th group, hence, the valence electron for beryllium is 2 and for chlorine atom, it is 7.

⇒ Total number of the valence electrons in beryllium = 2

⇒ Total number of the valence electrons in chlorine = 7

∴ Total number of valence electron available for the BeCl2 Lewis structure = 2 + 7(2) = 16 valence electrons         [∴ BeCl2 molecule has one beryllium and two chlorine atom]

Total valence electron available for drawing the BeCl2 lewis structure

2. Find the least electronegative atom and place it at center

An atom with a less electronegative value is more preferable for the central position in the lewis diagram because they are more prone to share the electrons with surrounding atoms.

In the case of the BeCl2 molecule, the beryllium atom is less electronegative than the chlorine atom.

So, just put the beryllium in the center position and spread both chlorine atoms around it.

central atom in BeCl2 lewis structure

3. Connect outer atoms to central atom with a single bond

In this step, place the single bond in between the outer atom(chlorine) and central atom(beryllium).

becl2 skeletal structure

After connecting each outer atom to the central atom, count the number of valence electrons used in the above structure. There are 2 single used in the above structure, and one single bond means 2 electrons.

Hence, in the above structure, (2 × 2) = 4 valence electrons are used from a total of 16 valence electrons available for drawing the BeCl2 Lewis structure.

∴ (16 – 4) = 12 valence electrons

So, we are left with 12 valence electrons more.

4. Place remaining valence electrons starting from outer atom first

Let’s start putting the remaining valence electrons on outer atoms first (in the case of BeCl2, chlorine is the outer atom) to complete the octet i.e. Each atom must contain 8 electrons to complete the octet, an exception may occur.

becl2 lewis structure

BeCl2 Lewis structure

So, both chlorine atoms in the above structure completed their octet, because both of them have 8 electrons(6 represented as dots and 2 electrons in a single bond) in their outermost shell. Also, the central atom(beryllium) also completed its octet because it has 4 electrons(2 single bonds) in its outermost shell.

Beryllium atom only needs 4 valence electrons in its outermost shell to complete the octet. (Exception to the octet rule).

Beryllium atom is exception to octet rule just as H, He, Li, etc. that do not require 8 electrons to fulfill the octet. Their s-orbitals do not need 8 electrons to complete the shell to feel full, so they don’t follow the octet rule.

Now again count the number of valence electrons used in the above structure.

There are 6 electrons placed over each chlorine atom, hence, (2 × 6) = 12 valence electrons, and we had 12 valences electrons remaining(check-in 3rd step).

∴ (12 – 12) = 0 valence electrons

So, we successfully used all the valence electrons available that are available for drawing the lewis structure of BeCl2.

Now we only need to verify the stability of the above BeCl2 lewis structure with the help of the formal charge concept.

5. Check the stability with the help of a formal charge concept

The lesser the formal charge on atoms, the better is the stability of the lewis diagram.

To calculate the formal charge on an atom. Use the formula given below-

⇒ Formal charge = (valence electrons – lone pair electrons –  1/2 bonded pair electrons)

Let’s count the formal charge on the chlorine atom first, both chlorine atoms in the BeCl2 Lewis structure(4th step) have the same bonded pair and lone pair, so, just count the F.C. for the one chlorine atom.

For chlorine atom:

⇒ Valence electrons of chlorine = 7

⇒ Lone pair electrons on chlorine = 6

⇒ Shared pair electrons around chlorine(1 single bond) = 2

∴ (7 – 6 – 2/2) = 0 formal charge on both chlorine atoms.

 For beryllium atom

⇒ Valence electrons of beryllium = 2

⇒ Lone pair electrons on beryllium = 0

⇒ Shared pair electrons around beryllium (2 single bonds) = 4

∴ (2 – 0 – 4/2) = 0 formal charge on the beryllium central atom.

formal charge in becl2 lewis structure

So, all the atoms in the BeCl2 Lewis structure have a formal charge equal to zero. Therefore, the above lewis structure of beryllium chloride is most appropriate and stable.

Also check – 

What are the electron and molecular geometry of BeCl2?

The molecular geometry of BeCl2 is linear because according to VSEPR theory, valence shell electrons around the beryllium atoms are going to repel each other since the central atom doesn’t contain any lone pair, so, those two chlorine atoms are going to push far as much as they can to either side of beryllium central atom and that makes BeCl2 is a linear molecule.

BeCl2 molecular geometry or shape

BeCl2 molecular geometry

 For keeping the repulsive force least generated by the electron pairs around the central atom, BeCl2 acquires the linear molecular shape.

The electron geometry of BeCl2 is also linear because there is no lone pair present on the central atom.

Let’s find the molecular shape and electron geometry of BeCl2 using the AXN method.

AXN method to determine the molecular geometry

AXN notation for BeCl2 molecule:

  • A denotes the central atom, so, in the BeCl2 molecule, beryllium is the central atom. A = Beryllium
  • X denotes the bonded atoms to the central atom, as we know, beryllium is bonded with two chlorine atoms. Therefore, X = 2
  • N denotes the lone pair on the central atom, as per the BeCl2 lewis structure, beryllium does not have any lone pair. Hence, N = 0

So, the AXN generic formula for the BeCl2 molecule becomes AX2N0 or AX2.

As per the VSEPR chart, if a molecule central atom is attached with two bonded atoms and has zero lone pair then the molecular and electron geometry for that molecule will be linear in nature.

electron and molecular geometry of BeCl2 as per VSEPR chart

Hence, the molecular geometry for BeCl2 is linear as well as its electron geometry is also linear.

Hybridization of BeCl2

Let’s find the hybridization of BeCl2 through the steric number of its central atom.

“Steric number is the addition of a total number of bonded atoms around a central atom and the lone pair present on it.”

∴ Steric number of BeCl2 = (Number of bonded atoms attached to beryllium + Lone pair on beryllium)

As per the lewis structure of BeCl2, the Beryllium atom is bonded with two chlorine atoms and it contains no lone pair of electrons.

∴ Steric number of BeCl2 = (2 + 0) = 2

Steric numberHybridization

So, for a steric number of two, we get the Sp hybridization on the beryllium atom in the BeCl2 molecule.

The bond angle of BeCl2

The bond angle of BeCl2 is 180º as expected because the beryllium central atom attains Sp hybridized and no lone pair present on it. Therefore, no disorientation occurs around the central atom which makes it’s linear in shape that has a bond angle of 180º.

BeCl2 bond angle

Also check:- How to find bond angle?

Beryllium chloride polarity: is BeCl2 polar or nonpolar?

Well, we know the polar molecule has some dipole moment because of unequal distribution of charges whereas the non-polar molecule has an equal distribution of charges that cause zero dipole moment because they cancel out each other due to the symmetrical shape of the molecule.

Is BeCl2 polar or non-polar? BeCl2 is a non-polar molecule because it contains two bonds(Be-Cl) that are arranged symmetrically to each other. Due to this, the dipole moment generated on both sides along the Be-Cl bond will cancel out each other making it’s a non-polar molecule.

Or you can say BeCl2 is a nonpolar molecule because all of the constituent atoms are arranged linearly around the central atom which causes symmetric charge distribution leading to the net dipole moment in molecule zero.

Also check-


Why is the electron and molecule geometry of BeCl2 is same?

As we know, the molecular geometry of BeCl2 is linear and electron geometry is also linear because electron geometry predicts the shape of a molecule with the help of lone pair as well bond pair but molecular geometry has only taken bond pair to predict the shape of the molecule.

As there is no lone pair present on the central atom in the BeCl2 Lewis structure. Therefore, both molecular and electrons geometry predict the shape of BeCl2 with the help of bonded pair of electrons.

Hence, the electron geometry and molecular geometry of BeCl2 are the same(linear).

Why does BeCl2 lewis’s structure violate the octet rule?

Generally, the octet rule said an atom is most stable when it has 8 electrons around it, more than this an atom is called a member of the hypervalent compound or known as expanded octet.

So, in the case of the BeCl2 Lewis dot structure, the beryllium central atom only gets 4 electrons in its outer shell to attain stability and violate the octet.

This is because the beryllium atom has too few electrons to form an octet since it has only two valence electrons, therefore, it can only form a maximum of two bond pairs(4 electrons in the outer shell).

Also Read:

Properties of Beryllium chloride

  • It has a molar mass of 79.9182 g/mol.
  • It appears as white or yellow crystals.
  • It has a boiling point of 482 °C and a melting point of 399 °C.
  • It has a hexagonal crystal structure.


  • The total valence electron is available for drawing the BeCl2 Lewis structure is 16.
  • The steric number of beryllium central atom in the BeCl2 molecule is 2, thus, it forms Sp hybridization.
  • BeCl2 is a nonpolar molecule because of symmetrical geometry that causes the uniform distribution of charge in the molecule that leads to its net dipole moment zero.
  • The molecular geometry of BeCl2 is linear
  • In the BeCl2 Lewis dot structure, a total of 6 lone pairs and 2 bonded pairs are present.
  • The electron geometry of BeCl2 is also linear.

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