What Is the Molecular Geometry of ClO2?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 31, 2020 8:18:03 PM ET

The molecular geometry of ClO2 is a bent or V-shape, according to Bristol ChemLabS. ClO2 is the molecular formula for chlorine dioxide. It is a yellowish-green gas that crystallizes to bright orange crystals at -59 degrees Celsius. ClO2 is a potent oxidizing agent used for bleaching and for water treatment.


Chlorine dioxide has an odd number of valence electrons and is considered a paramagnetic radical. The compound is composed of a central chlorine atom with two oxygen atoms connected via covalent bonds. Chlorine dioxide has two resonance structures with a double bond on one side and a single bond and three electrons on the other. Both resonance structures have a bent molecular geometry with an O=Cl-O bond angle of 117.6 degrees. Chlorine dioxide is prepared in a laboratory by the oxidation of sodium chlorite, or NaClO2. CL2 is used as the oxidizing agent, acting on NaClO2 to produce chlorine dioxide and NaCl. Chlorine dioxide is used for the bleaching of wood pulp as an alternative to pure chlorine. Using chlorine dioxide minimizes the amount of toxic organochlorine compounds that are produced as byproducts. For water treatment, chlorine dioxide is less corrosive than chlorine and is more effective at killing certain waterborne pathogenic microbes such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa.