Is 2-propanol polar or nonpolar? – Polarity of 2-propanol

Home  > Chemistry Questions >  2-propanol polar or nonpolar

The question is –

Is 2-propanol polar or nonpolar?


2-propanol is polar.  


2- propanol or propan-2-ol (CH3CH(OH)CH3) is polar as it has a strongly polar hydroxyl (OH) functional group in it.

The unequal O-H, C-O, and C-H dipole moments do not get canceled equally in the overall molecular shape.  

2-propanol is a secondary alcohol. The hydroxyl (OH) functional group is present at carbon no. 2 i.e., the C-atom carrying two methyls (CH3) groups, one on each side.

In this way, it comprises 1 O-H bond, 1 C-O bond, 2 C-C bonds, and 7 C-H bonds, respectively.

Each C-C bond is purely non-polar as it consists of two identical carbon atoms having zero or no electronegativity differences.

A C-H bond is weakly polar as it consists of an electronegativity difference of 0.35 units between the single covalently bonded carbon (E.N = 2.55) and hydrogen (E.N = 2.20) atoms.

In comparison, a C-O bond is moderately polar as the single-covalently bonded carbon and oxygen (E.N = 3.44) atoms have an electronegativity difference of 0.89 units, respectively.

However, an O-H bond is extremely polar as it possesses oxygen and a hydrogen atom containing an electronegativity difference of 1.24 units.

Oxygen being the most electronegative element in 2-propanol, strongly attracts the shared electron cloud from each C-H bond in addition to attracting the C-O and O-H bonded electrons.

Oppositely charged poles develop in the molecule as the O-atom gains a partial negative charge (δ) while each of the C and H-atoms gains partial positive charges (δ+ or δ++) to denote an extreme electron deficiency.

The shape of the molecule w.r.t each C-atom is tetrahedral, identical to its ideal electron pair geometry.

Contrarily, the O-atom contains 2 lone pairs of electrons, which leads to strong lone pair-lone pair and lone pair-bond pair electronic repulsions. Hence, the shape of 2-propanol w.r.t this O-atom is bent, angular, or V-shaped.

Is 2-propanol polar or nonpolar

Due to this bend in the molecular shape and geometry, the C-O and O-H dipole moments stay uncancelled along with the small dipole moment of each C-H bond.

The charged electron cloud stays non-uniformly distributed. That is why 2-propanol is overall polar (net µ = 1.66 Debye).

Also, check –

How to identify polar or nonpolar compounds?

Did you like it?

About the author

Vishal Goyal is the founder of Topblogtenz, a comprehensive resource for students seeking guidance and support in their chemistry studies. He holds a degree in B.Tech (Chemical Engineering) and has four years of experience as a chemistry tutor. The team at Topblogtenz includes experts like experienced researchers, professors, and educators, with the goal of making complex subjects like chemistry accessible and understandable for all. A passion for sharing knowledge and a love for chemistry and science drives the team behind the website. Let's connect through LinkedIn:

Share it...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Topblogtenz

Topblogtenz is a website dedicated to providing informative and engaging content related to the field of chemistry and science. We aim to make complex subjects, like chemistry, approachable and enjoyable for everyone.

Connect with us

Copyright © 2023 - All rights Reserved

Scroll to Top