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QUESTION

# How can I draw the Lewis structure for ClO2-?

Here's how I would do it.

You can find the procedure .

For "ClO"_2^"-", "Cl" is the less electronegative atom. So, "Cl" is the central atom

The skeleton structure is "O-Cl-O".

The trial structure is

You have 20 in your trial structure.

The you have available are: "1 Cl + 2 O + 1 e" = 1×7 + 2×6 + 1 = 20.

Hence, the trial structure has the correct number of electrons.

The formal charge on each atom is:

"Cl" = 7 - 4 - ½(4) = +1; "O" = 6 – 6 - ½(2) = "-1"

Every atom has a formal charge.

We can reduce the number of formal charges by moving a lone pair of electrons from "O" to form a "Cl=O" double bond.

This gives us two new structures in which one "O" atom has "FC = -1" and the other atoms have "FC = 0":

The actual structure is nine of these. Rather, it is a resonance hybrid of them both