Video: Identifying the Pair of Chemicals with Both Ionic and Covalent Bonds in a Set of Pairs of Chemicals

Which of the following have both ionic and covalent bonds? [A] NO and NO₂ [B] ¹⁴N and ¹⁵N [C] CH₃CO₂K and CH₃CO₂Na [D] CH₃CH₂OCH₃ and CH₃CH₂CH₂OH [E] S₂ and S₈


Video Transcript

Which of the following have both ionic and covalent bonds? A) NO and NO₂, B) ¹⁴N and ¹⁵N, C) CH₃CO₂K and CH₃CO₂Na, D) CH₃CH₂OCH₃ and CH₃CH₂CH₂OH, or E) S₂ and S₈.

Ionic bonding is an attraction that occurs between oppositely charged ions. Ionic bonding typically happens between a nonmetal and a metal. Sodium chloride or table salt is an example of a compound with ionic bonding. Sodium is a metal found in group one of the periodic table. And chlorine is a nonmetal found in group 17. When sodium and chlorine come together to form an ionic compound, chlorine is so much more electronegative than sodium is that it effectively steals one of sodium’s valence electrons. Resulting in a positively charged sodium cation and a negatively charged chlorine anion.

These ionic compounds typically arrange themselves in what’s called a lattice, which is a crystal featuring alternating negatively and positively charged ions. Where ionic bonding involved the transfer of a valence electron to form oppositely charged ions, covalent bonding is the sharing of electrons between two atoms. And it typically occurs between two nonmetals.

Hydrofluoric acid is an example of a molecule with a covalent bond. The bond is created because both of the atoms participating in the bond, that is, hydrogen and fluorine, each donate one of their electrons. These electrons are shared between the two atoms.

In this question, we’re looking for a compound that has both ionic and covalent bonding. So let’s take a look at our answer choices. Both of the molecules in answer choice A are made of nitrogen and oxygen, which are both nonmetals found in group 15 and group 16 of the periodic table, respectively. Since both of these molecules are made of nonmetals, we’d expect them to form covalent bonds, not ionic and covalent bonds. So answer choice A is not correct.

In answer choice B, we have two isotopes of nitrogen. Isotopes are simply atoms of the same element that have a different number of neutrons. Since both of these are just different atoms of nitrogen, there’s no bonding. And since there’s no bonding at all in this answer choice, this answer choice is not correct.

In answer choice C, we have two compounds that look pretty similar. The difference is one has a potassium, or K, and the other one has a sodium, or Na. As we know, potassium and sodium are both metals. And the other part of the compound contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which are all nonmetals. Since these compounds both have a metal and a nonmetal group to them, we’d expect that this compound would have ionic bonding. So it doesn’t have covalent bonding as well.

Without the metal attached to them, the remaining atoms in answer choice C form an ion called acetate. Acetate is made of all nonmetals: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. So based on what we know, we would expect acetate to have covalent bonds between the atoms in it. Since potassium acetate and sodium acetate have both ionic and covalent bonds, answer choice C is the correct answer.

And a quick inspection of the compounds in the other answer choices revealed that they are in fact made of all nonmetals. So we’d expect them to form covalent bonds only. So answer choice C, which is potassium acetate and sodium acetate, is the only one of our answer choices that has both ionic and covalent bonding.

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