Difference Between Hydrogen Bonds And Covalent Bonds

There are many key differences between a covalent and a hydrocarbon bond. Chemistry, the study of substances – elements and compounds, starts with the basics of bonds between two atoms and molecules. This article will explain the differences between a hydrogen bond and a covalent bond and how they are formed. We’ll look at the two types of chemical bonds. The type of interaction is what makes a covalent molecule different from a hydrocarbon molecule.

Hydrogen Bond vs Covalent Bond

The main difference between hydrogen bonds and covalent hydrogen bonds is their lower energy. And the strength of the bonds. The hydrogen bond is only 1/10 times stronger than the covalent bond. The hydrogen bond is formed between two atoms of two molecules. Covalent bonds are formed between two atoms.

Hydrogen Bond vs Covalent Bond

 A hydrogen bond can be either intramolecular or intermolecular. The energy associated with a hydrogen bond varies depending on the geometry and the environment of the atoms involved. It is a weaker bond than the van der Waals interaction and occurs in both organic and inorganic molecules. Some examples of a hydrogen bond are Salicylic acid, H2O (Water), Methyl alcohol, sugar, etc.

Covalent bonds are forms of intermolecular forces. They are formed when two or more atoms share their electrons to fill their outermost electron shells. Covalent bonds are much stronger than hydrogen bonds and have high stability as well.

Comparison Table Between Hydrogen Bond and Covalent Bond

Parameters of ComparisonHydrogen BondCovalent Bond
What are they?A hydrogen bond is a force of attraction between a hydrogen atom and a more electronegative atom.Covalent bonds are chemical bonds formed by sharing of electrons.
ForcesIntermolecular and Intramolecular forces.Intermolecular forces.
StrengthA hydrogen bond is less strong as compared to a covalent bond.Covalent bonds are much stronger as compared to hydrogen bonds.
Formed betweenA hydrogen bond is formed between two atoms of two different molecules.Formed between two atoms.
ExamplesSalicylic acid, Water, Glucose, etc.Methane, carbon monoxide, etc.

What is a Hydrogen Bond?

A hydrogen bond is an electric force of attraction between two atoms. It is created when a hydrogen atom covalently bonds with another atom that is more electronegative, such as an octet or a group. Mostly, the electronegative molecules are either oxygen, nitrogen, or fluorine. In most cases, a more electronegative atom with a lone pair of electrons is called the acceptor.

Hydrogen bonds are strong attractions between partially positive and positively charged atoms. They are the strongest of all the known types of bonds. These bonds are found in many covalent compounds but are weaker than the covalent ones. The two molecules are bonded together by the electronegative nature of the hydrogen atom. Water can therefore move between the atoms and form stable chemical compounds. For example, when wet paper sheets stick together.

Hydrogen bonds take place between two molecules that contain the same type of hydrogen. C-H bonds are formed when two carbon atoms become electronegativity bound to one another. In a donor/acceptor bond, the proton donor is the electronegative atom and the proton acceptor is the one that is not covalently bound with hydrogen. The hydrogen atoms in the base pair are held together by hydrogen bonding.

What is a Covalent Bond?

Two atoms share electron pairs to form a covalent bond. These electron pairs are called bonding pairs. Covalent bonds are created through a balance of attractive and repulsive forces. Here are some examples. To illustrate, here is a chemical equation. Read on to discover the science behind them. The simplest example of covalent bonding is the sharing of a pair of electrons.

The bonding process involves sharing electrons between two different atoms. Because electrons share energy, they can have lower energy than the other atoms. They become entangled when the centers attract one another. The energy of the other atom is decreased by the shared electrons. This is called “equilibrium”. This phenomenon is common in nature and can be used to track progress and identify important lessons.

The process of sharing electrons results in a decrease in energy. The electron that shares an atom with another electron will lose energy. It is in this state that the covalent bond forms. An electron lying between two attracting centers has lower energy than an electron that lies between two neutral ones. The energy of a single atom increases in a molecule if it is shared with an atom that has a higher energy level.

Main Differences Between a Hydrogen Bond and Covalent Bond

  1. A hydrogen bond is only 1/10 times stronger than a covalent bond. 
  2. Hydrogen Bonds are intramolecular and intermolecular bonds. On the other hand, covalent bonds are Intermolecular chemical bonds.
  3. Hydrogen bonds are formed between two atoms of two different molecules. Covalent bonds are formed between two atoms. 
  4. Hydrogen bonds are attraction forces. Covalent bonds are chemical bonds. 
  5. Hydrogen bonds have low stability as compared to covalent bonds.


Chemistry involves the studies of bonds and compositions of elements. Hydrogen and covalent bond are two different types of bonds that are formed between two atoms. A hydrogen bond is completely different from a covalent bond. The main difference between hydrogen and covalent bonds is their attraction between atoms of different molecules. The one that is based on a common electron is non-polar. Therefore, hydrogen and carbon atoms are always bound together. If the two atoms are bonded, they form a hydrogen bond. In this way, the hydrogen and carbon atoms in a substance share the same electron.

In chemical terms, a covalent bond is a chemical bond formed when an atom shares electrons with another. The stronger the bond, the more powerful the reaction is. A hydrogen atom can form a covalent molecule with an electronegative atom. Indeed, a covalent bond is much stronger than a hydrogen bond.


  1. https://scripts.iucr.org/cgi-bin/paper?a12816
  2. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ja01130a013
  3. https://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.3159673
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