Is O2 a triple bond: Why, How, Characteristics and Detailed Facts


In this article, we are going to see is O2 a triple bond, why, how along with its characteristics and facts in detail.

Oxygen has a valency of 6 electrons. In an O2, two oxygen atoms are covalently bonded. Two valence electrons are getting shared by both oxygens to attain a stable electronic configuration. The rest of the electrons act as lone pairs. Hence a triple bond does not form by O2.

Michael Sendivogius isolated Oxygen (1604). Oxygen is an element of a periodic table with atomic number 8 and denoted as O. It belongs to Group 6A. It has 6 valence electrons present in its outermost valence shell. It has two pairs of electrons that are lone pairs. It constitutes 21% of the earth’s atmosphere and considers an essential element.

Triple bond

To find out is O2 a triple bond, let’s understand what is a triple bond.

 A triple bond is formed when two atoms share three outermost shell electrons and are combined chemically. As the number of electrons available more bonds get formed which leads to an increase in the bond strength of a molecule. Single bonds and double bonds are weak as compared to triple bonds.

A triple bond is made up of three bonds out of which one is sigma and two pi bonds.

When there is an axial overlapping of orbitals Sigma bond is formed. A pi bond is formed by lateral overlapping of orbitals.

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Diatomic molecule O2

When two same atoms are combined chemically to form a bond then it is term as a diatomic molecule. In an O2 molecule, two identical oxygen atoms form a bond. Both oxygen atoms share two electrons each to form two covalent bonds.

The oxygen atom has a valency of 6 therefore needs 2 electrons for stabilization. By sharing 2 electrons both oxygen atoms attain stable electronic configuration. That’s why O2 is a diatomic molecule.

is o2 a triple bond
Figure 1: O2 molecule

Image Credits: wikimedia

Is O2 a triple bond ?

O2 molecule is formed by bonding two oxygen atoms covalently. There is a valency of six electrons in the valence shell of an oxygen atom. It must have only two electrons to complete the octet state. Both the oxygen atoms share two electrons with each other. Due to this they complete their octet state and get stabilized.

In the O2 molecule both the oxygen atoms attain stabilization by forming two covalent bonds with each other. There is no necessity to share more electrons to form a triple bond. So is O2 a triple bond, No, O2 is not a triple bond.

Figure 2: Structure of O2

Image Credits: wikimedia

O2 Double bond

O2 is a diatomic molecule. When two identical atoms of the same elements combine together chemically to form a molecule, it is termed as diatomic. In the case of O2, two oxygen atoms combined covalently. As we know, the oxygen atom has a valency of six electrons. It wants only two electrons to complete the octet state.

Two oxygen shares two valence electrons to form a bond. By sharing these two electrons both the oxygen atoms fulfill their octet condition and attain stabilization. O2 molecule has two covalent bonds. Hence O2 is an example of a double bond structure.

Figure 3: Double bond of O2

Image Credits : wikimedia

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Characteristics:

  • O2 is a diatomic molecule, also termed dioxygen.
  • Oxygen has an atomic number 8 and it is denoted as O.
  • It has a valency of 6 electrons, out of which two electrons are utilized to form a bond and four are nonbonding electrons (two lone pairs).
  • O2 is a non-metal, tasteless, colourless, and odourless gas.
  • O2 is highly reactive, undergoes various chemical reactions.
  • It supports the combustion process.
  • O2 molecule has linear geometry.

Uses:

  1. O2 is used for aerobic respiration, cellular respiration by all living organisms.
  2. O2 is also used to ignite fire as it is combustible.
  3. It is used in the industries like steel, textile, plastic, etc.
  4. O2 is used for cutting, moulding, blazing, etc.
  5. O2 is used as a rocket propellant.
  6. It is also used in ventilation systems, hospitality, oxygen therapy, etc.
  7. O2 is used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and chemical industries.
  8. O2 is an oxidizing agent.

Facts:

  • O2 constitutes 21% of the earth’s atmosphere.
  • It is also considered the most abundant element of the earth.
  • Life on earth does not exist without oxygen.
  • It is released by photosynthesis in the atmosphere.
  • Oxygen supports combustion.
  • Oxygen forms oxides with almost all elements.
  • It is found in nucleic acids, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, bones, teeth, etc.
  • Oxygen has allotropes such as O2, O3, and O4.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: Can oxygen Form 8 bonds?

Answer: No, oxygen does not form 8 bonds.

In an O2 molecule, Oxygen atoms have 6 valence electrons so it shares 2 electrons with other oxygen atom and attains stable electronic configuration. As molecules get stabilized by sharing of two electrons, the formation of two bonds. There is no requirement for further bonding. Hence oxygen does not form 8 bonds.

Question: How many triple bonds does O2 have?

Answer: Zero, O2 does not have a triple bond.

In the O2 molecule both the oxygen atoms attain stabilization by forming two covalent bonds with each other. There is no necessity to share more electrons to form a triple bond. Hence O2 does not have a triple bond.

Question: What bonds are in a triple bond?

Answer: A triple bond includes three bonds.

A triple bond is made up of three bonds out of which one is sigma and two pi bonds. When there is an axial overlapping of orbitals Sigma bond is formed. A pi bond is formed by lateral overlapping of orbitals.

Question: Why is O2 not a triple bond?

Answer: O2 is not a triple bond because,

There are six electrons in the outermost shell of Oxygen. It must have only two electrons to complete the octet state. In the O2 molecule both the oxygen atoms attain stabilization by forming two covalent bonds with each other. There is no necessity to share more electrons to form a triple bond. Therefore O2 is not a triple bond.

Question: Why is O2 a double bond?

Answer: O2 is a double bond because,

In the case of O2, two oxygen atoms combined covalently. The oxygen atom has a valency of six electrons. It must have only two electrons to complete the octet state. Two oxygen shares two valence electrons to form a bond. By sharing these two electrons both the oxygen atoms fulfill their octet condition and attain stabilization. O2 molecule has two covalent bonds. Hence O2 is an example of a double bond.

Smruti Bhosale

I am Smruti Bhosale. I am from Mumbai. I have Master's degree in Inorganic chemistry from Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Mumbai. I always have a passion for writing and to inspire as many willing minds through my words. Chemistry is a subject that is used by everyone in their normal lives. I want to explain the subject in the most understandable and simplest way possible. I am a creative, hard working person and passionate about learning new things. I like to read books.

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