How is methyl free radical formed- Organic Chemistry

What is Methyl Radical?

Methyl radical( .CH3) is an organic compound derived from methane(CH4 ) is the reaction intermediate that is highly reactive, short-lived and unstable.

Methyl radical is also known as methyl free radical.

Methyl Free Radical Formula:

Methyl free radical is represented by .CH3

Methyl radical Formation:

Homolytic cleavage between C-H bond in methane molecule results in the formation of methyl free radical and hydrogen free radical.

The below diagram shows the difference between methane and methyl radical .i.e How is methyl free radical formed?

Difference between methane and methyl radical

Methyl radical Lewis Structure:

Methyl radical has a central carbon atom( 4 electrons in valence shell) surrounded by 3 hydrogen atoms (each hydrogen having 1 valence electron). As a result of a covalent bond between carbon and hydrogen, methyl free radical has 7 electrons (odd no. of electrons) in total as you can see in the diagram:

methyl radical lewis structure

Central carbon atom in methyl free radical has 3 bond pairs and one unpaired electron so the total 7 electrons around the carbon atoms represent the incomplete valence electrons(incomplete octet) . That’s why methyl radical is highly reactive and unstable.

Methyl radical Shape or Geometry:

According to the valence shell electron pair repulsion theory, when three bond pair electrons are present around the central atom, it will result in the formation of a trigonal planar shape or geometry of methyl radical.

methyl radical shape

Methyl Radical Bond Angle:

According to the valence shell electron pair repulsion theory, if a molecule has a trigonal planar shape or geometry so it will have an angle of 1200 . Therefore methyl radical has a bond angle of 1200 with trigonal planar geometry.

Methyl Radical Hybridization:

The easiest trick to find the hybridization type is to count the total number of sigma bonds (single covalent bond) and lone pair electrons around the central atom so that you can determine the type of hybridization easily.

Formula to find Hybridization:

Type of hybridization= Total no. of sigma bond + Total no. of lone pair electrons

sp3 hybridization= Total no. of sigma bond + Total no. of lone pair electrons = 4 hybrid orbitals

sp2 hybridization= Total no. of sigma bond + Total no. of lone pair electrons = 3 hybrid orbitals

sp hybridization= Total no. of sigma bond + Total no. of lone pair electrons = 2 hybrid orbitals

In methyl radical, we have 3 sigma bonds and 1 unpaired (not involved in hybridization) so the total of 3 hybrid orbitals results in sp2 hybridization.

methyl radical hybridization

Also Watch Hybridization Tips and Tricks ( in Urdu / Hindi)

Also Watch Free Radical ( in Urdu / Hindi)

32 thoughts on “How is methyl free radical formed- Organic Chemistry”

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