Sunday, March 6, 2011


NaHCO3 or Sodium Bicarbonate at a Glance
  • has a molar mass of 84.01
  • it is polar
  • it is a triangular planar molecule
  • also known as baking powder
The lewis structure of NaHCO3 looks like:

  • this is a polar molecule because the Na and H have a positive charge and the O has a negative charge giving it two opposite charged poles
Intermolecular Forces Acting on NaHCO3
Intermolecular forces are the attracton between two stable molecules. There are four different types of intermolecular forces; london dispursion, dipole dipole, hydrogen bonding and iconic bonding. These different forces are formed for different reasons and have varing strengths. The intermolecular forces between two molecules of NaHCO3 are:
  • London Dispursion: a very weak temporary dipole that is formed as the electrons move around the atom
  • Dipole Dipole: the attraction between the positive pole of one polar molecule and the negative pole of another polar molecule, it is like a ionic bond but much weaker
  • Hydogen Bonding: a attraction between the H of one molecule and the O,F,or N of a nearby molecule
The Shape of NaHCO3

Description:The grey dot in the center is the C, the three red dots are the O, the little white dot connected to the O to the right is the H, and the big blue dot on the left connected to the lefthand O is the Na.

A molecule's shape can be clasified using the VSEPER model which is, the valence electron pairs surrounding an atom repel one another, so the oribitals containing those electron pairs are oriented to be as far apart as possible. To clasify a molecule we must know its species type, the species type is written out as various forms of AXE. The A stands for the centeral atom, the X stands for the number of terminal atoms bonded to the centeral atom and the E stands for the number of unsaired pairs around the central atom. After we determine the molecule's species type we would look up the shape in a VSEPER table.

So using this model we can determine that there are three Xs and no Es because there is a double bond between the single oxygen and the central atom, which would make it a AX3. When we look up AX3 in a VSEPER table we can clasify it as a Triangular planar molecule, which has 3 terminal atoms placed at 120 degree angles form each other.

Why do we need NaHCO3?

Well what can't NaHCO3 aka baking soda do? It is used in...
  • cooking: to help dough rise
  • medicine: to help treat heartburn, prevent blister and scaring for burns, treat asprin overdose, relieve insect bites 
  • hygine: as an exfoliant for skin, mouthwash and alternative to toothpaste
  • cleaning agent: to remove tarnish from silver, added to laundry to remove odors and stains
  • deodorizing: to eleminate odor from refrigerators and freezers
There are literally millions of uses for soduim bicarbonate! So next time you reach for that Arm & Hammer remember that  NaHCO3 is whats doing all the work!


  1. Great job! You have stated that the molecule is polar and are accurate with your descriptions. You have also correctly identified the intermolecular forces occurring between this molecule. Lastly your add is very affective. Naming all the things that your molecule performs is perfect because most of these actions are necessary in everyday activities.

  2. Overall Appearance:
    The overall appearence of the blog is good. It is neat which makes it easy to read and understand. The colors are nice.

    Accuracy of drawing:
    The 3D model of the molecule is accurate, however the arrows that represent the electronegativity were not shown in the 3D model. The description helps to understand the model.

    In the blog, the molecule is described as polar. This is correct because the electrons are not equally distributed. The explanation for this is simple and easy to understand.

    Intermolecular forces:
    The blog correctly identifies three intermolecular forces acting between the molecules. They are London dispersion forces, dipole dipole, and hydrogen bonding. There are also accurate descriptions of each of these forces.

    The ad for sodium bicarbonate is convincing and informative. It lists the many uses for this molecule which would certainly convince someone to buy it because it shows that there are many uses for the molecule today.

  3. The blog looks very nice, it is clear and easy to find everything. The diagram looks great, it is the right shape and its easy to tell the shape. This molecule is polar because the charges are not evenly distributed through the molecule, this was correctly stated in your blog. As said in your blog te intermolecular forces are London dispersion, dipole-dipole and hydrogen bonding, these are the correct three forces that are acting upon NaHCO3. I did not know that hygine: is an exfoliant for skin, mouthwash and alternative to toothpaste. I learned this from your advertisement which was very informative.
    -Caitlin Marino

  4. Organized, apealing, simple, and easy to understand are just four of the many adjectives that describe this blog about NaHCO3 known as sodium Bicarbonate. The blue and Lime green go nicely with eachother
    The Lewis Struture of the molecule is missing the arrows that show the electronegativity. However, everything else is correct.
    The explanation of why NaHCO3 is polar is short and sweet. Easy to understand and doesn't take long to read. This makes it perfect because readers will not skip over it because it is concise and gets to the point.
    London dispersion, dipole-dipole, and hydrogen are the three intermolecular forces that are mentioned in the blog. These are the forces that work on NaHCO3.
    I like the last line of your ad, "the last time you reach..." This line reminds you to think of all the times that NaHCO3 was working. It makes you realize that information learned in chem isn't just used in a lab in the middle of a desert but in real life!

  5. Just a friendly tip here, but sodium bicarbonate is not known as baking powder. It is known as baking soda. Baking soda is purely sodium bicarbonate, while baking powder is a combination of calcium acid, pyrophosphate, corn starch, sodium bicarbonate, and other materials.