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Carbon Monoxide Formula

Last updated date: 29th Feb 2024
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What is the Carbon Monoxide Formula?

In order to obtain carbon monoxide chemical formula you should know about the constituents of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a gas that is formed of carbon and oxygen. It is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, and a flammable gas. It is slightly less dense than the air. Carbon monoxide consists of one carbon and one oxygen atom and thus has both in the same stoichiometric ratio. Hence, the carbon monoxide formula is given as CO. Thus, it's a simplest molecule present in the family of oxocarbons i.e. oxides of carbon. The same carbon monoxide ligand is referred to as carbonyl in coordination chemistry. The molecular weight carbon monoxide is known to have is 28.010 g/mol and is easily calculable from the simple carbon monoxide chemical formula.

Properties of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is the most simple oxocarbon, a fact clearly visible from the carbon monoxide symbol. Another one of the chemical names of carbon monoxide includes carbon oxide, carbon protoxide, carbon (II) oxide, etc. 

It consists of a single carbon and single oxygen (a common property visible in any monoxide formula). There exists three bonds in between carbon and oxygen atoms. There are in total two pi bonds and one sigma bond. The bond length between the carbon and oxygen atom is 112.8 pm. The structural representation of the CO, the molecular formula of carbon monoxide is as shown below in the given image:

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Because of this structure it has similar properties with other diatomic species that have triple bonds such as molecular nitrogen. This can be seen from the nearby similarities such as the bond length of nitrogen is 109.76 pm and also has nearly the same molecular mass. The boiling points and melting points of carbon monoxide are 82 K and 68 K respectively and are similar to nitrogen molecules which are 77K and 63 K. SImilar is the case for the bond dissociation energy which is 1072 kJ/mol for CO (carbon monoxide symbol) and is stronger than that nitrogen which is 942 kJ/mol. 

CO (carbon monoxide symbol) is easily available both in various natural and artificial environments. Typically, the concentrations are mentioned in parts per million. But the major industrial source of carbon monoxide is the producer gas which is a mixture mostly consisting of carbon monoxide and nitrogen formed from the burning of coal i.e. the combustion of carbon in air at high temperatures. This is an easy to understand condition when you look at the components from the chemical formula carbon monoxide represents. During any such process, air is passed through coke, a fuel source with high carbon content. As a result carbon dioxide is produced. This carbon dioxide then forms an equilibrium state with the remaining hot carbon and gives carbon monoxide. This typical reaction is known as the Boudouard reaction. The reaction that gives the product as CO which is the carbon monoxide chemical formula is given below:

CO2 + C → 2CO. 

Similarly, another source for the production of carbon monoxide is water gas. It is a reaction in between steam and carbon which occurs endothermically. It produces carbon monoxide and hydrogen as a result. The balanced carbon monoxide equation for the reaction given above is shown below: 

H2O + C → H2 + CO.

Other such sources that are known for the production of carbon monoxide are known as synthesis gases and are usually obtained from natural gas and other such fuel sources. 

Uses of Carbon Monoxide

The industrial utilisation of carbon monoxide includes the production of synthetic chemicals and in metallurgical applications. But it has potentially harmful effects globally due to its contribution to climate change. It is already one of the major air pollutants present due to vehicular emissions and emissions from different industrial processes. Although it may also have certain biological effects such as its functioning as an endogenous neurotransmitter under low concentrations. But under high concentrations it becomes biologically toxic and can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. 

A particular niche use of carbon monoxide that is thought of is its use as a fuel on Mars. Engines utilizing either oxygen or carbon monoxide have been suggested to be used for the surface transportation as both can be easily generated owing to the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere of Mars. This is also unique because it wont utilise any of the Martian water resources for production of any hydrogen based fuel. 

FAQs on Carbon Monoxide Formula

1. How is Carbon Monoxide Formed?

Ans: Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas having carbon and oxygen as its constituents. It is mainly formed due to the incomplete combustion of fuels. This means that when steam reacts with carbon or any carbon source, it releases carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Also, when air is passed through a burning coal, it produces carbon dioxide and this carbon dioxide further equilibrates with carbon to form carbon monoxide. Thus, for the production of carbon monoxide chemical equation in balanced form is given as: CO2 + C → 2CO. 

2. Is CO2 the Same as CO?

Ans: No, CO2 is not the same as CO. CO2 is carbon dioxide consisting of one carbon and two oxygen atoms whereas CO is the carbon monoxide gas formula consisting of one carbon and one oxygen atom. Also carbon dioxide is generated by complete combustion of fuels, carbon monoxide is formed by partial or incomplete combustion of fuels.