Ok, this is probably a stupid question but one that is bugging me.
How do you decide how to write out a chemical compound name? In a project a coworker is doing it is written out H2O and in another section it is written OH2. Is there a particular order to what chemical comes first? Is it by group?
quote:How do you decide how to write out a chemical compound name? In a project a coworker is doing it is written out H2O and in another section it is written OH2. Is there a particular order to what chemical comes first? Is it by group?
I have never seen water written out as OH2. In organic chemistry (and in The Merck Index) the order is always C, H, O. For example, glucose is C6H12O6. My only guess is that there were two alcohol groups which were listed as (OH)2 which would describe a protonated carboxy group (IIRC, organic was so long ago).
I've seen it written both ways, but it is usually H20. Most of the time I've seen it written as OH2 are when the connectivity of the bonds is shown. Such as CH30H2. That would be a protonated methanol. When writing the mechanism for this reaction, I think water is usually written as 0H2 so that its oxygen is oriented towards the carbon of which is will eventually bond. Ex.
CH3Cl + OH2 --> CH3OH2 + Cl ---> CH30H + HCl
Either way, it's convention, since the empirical formula and structural formula are identical. I think for the empirical formula H is before O, but if it's written structurally I think it can be oriented any way the author wants if it illustrates a mechanism better.
I've seen H2O and HOH both in professional chemistry writings - which depends on whether the author want to emphasize exactly that yin/yang thing you mention, RAZD. And that ability to be both an acid and a base, while also being a solvent, is sure 'nuff fairly unusual. Anhydrous ammonia and hydrogen fluoride can do it, but I'll normally pick water over either of those.