According come chemistry, ionic bonds are strongest, yet in biology, covalent bond are. How deserve to this be?


You are watching: Why are covalent bonds stronger than ionic bonds


I simply completed AP chemistry in high school, and in chemistry that is taught the ionic bonds are strongest. However, my AP bio friends notified me the in biology, covalent bonds space strongest. Have the right to someone define why the two classes teach this differently?



Covalent bonding is leading in necessary chemistry, but ionic bonds usually have greater dissociation energies. I'm not certain why her friends have been led to think that covalent bonds are stronger, together that's normally not true. Certainly more common in biology, yet being an ext common obviously doesn't mean that they're stronger.

Interestingly, the phenomena which reason covalent and also ionic bond to kind are not mutually exclusive, so actual chemistry bonds derive their stamin from both pressures simultaneously. When we speak to something a covalent bond, it way that covalence is the primary reason because that the bonding, not that the bond has no ionic character.




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As a chemist ns am going to say the way this is taught in biology is sort of right and also the means it is teach in chemistry is confusing. Ionic bonds room stronger. It takes more energy to traction the two atoms apart come infinity 보다 it go in a covalent bond. But, that is an energy measured in a vacuum. In the presence of solvent, such as water, this alters drastically. This is due to the fact that the 2 atoms in an ionic shortcut (as various other commentators mentioned, over there is no such point as a completely ionic or covalent bond, that is simply what we contact the extremes of different ends of a continuum) as soon as separated make ions. These ions are massively stabalized by the water molecules v non-covalent interactions. What this means in physical state is that once you rest a bond, you no only need to look in ~ the security of the bond, but likewise the stability of the products. As soon as the products are very stable, there is a smaller power difference in between the the bond and the atoms. So, the is really difficult to break a NaCl link in a vaccuum. That is an extremely easy to execute it in water. For this reason in organic contexts, always in water, ionic bonds are an ext suggestions 보다 bonds-a convenient method of describing ion pairs, and are for this reason much lot weaker than a covalent bond that doesn't dissociate in the exact same way. However in a vacuum, the ionic bond is much harder to break than a simple covalent interaction.