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Carbon Monoxide Formula – Structure, Properties, Uses, Sample Questions

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Carbon monoxide has the formula CO and is an organic dative covalent molecule. It’s made on a huge scale in the industrial sector because it’s utilized to make a variety of organic and inorganic compounds. Because it is a volatile and dangerous gas, it must be handled with extreme caution.

Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, was the first to notice or report that coal produces carbon monoxide when burned. Then, in 1776, de Lassone, a French chemist, created carbon monoxide. He produced CO by heating zinc oxide (ZnO) with coke. However, because CO burnt with a blue flame, he incorrectly inferred that the gas was hydrogen. Although, in 1800, Scottish chemist William Cruickshank discovered that the gas is not hydrogen, but rather a carbon-oxygen combination.

Structure of Carbon Monoxide

One carbon and one oxygen atom are connected by two pi bonds and one sigma bond in a molecule of carbon monoxide. The carbon atom contains four valence electrons and the oxygen atom has six, for a total of ten electrons in the valence shell in one molecule of carbon monoxide. As a result, both atoms form triple bonds using the octet rule. Carbon monoxide exhibits sp hybridization. The bond angle is 180°. It has a 112.8 pm bond length.


Physical Properties of Carbon Monoxide

  1. CO has a melting point of -205°C
  2. CO has a boiling point of -191.5°C.
  3. It has low water solubility. At 25 °C, only 25 mg of CO is soluble in one liter of water.
  4. Chloroform, acetic acid, ethyl acetate, ethanol, ammonium hydroxide, and benzene are all soluble in it.
  5. Polar covalent bonds exist in carbon monoxide.
  6. It’s a ligand in a lot of coordination complexes.

Chemical Properties of Carbon Monoxide

  • COCl2 is formed when carbon monoxide interacts with chlorine.

CO + Cl2 → COCl2

  • In blast furnaces, carbon monoxide is utilized as a reducing agent to remove iron from its ore.

Fe2O3 + 3CO → 2Fe + 3CO2

  • Copper and carbon dioxide are produced when carbon monoxide interacts with copper oxide.

CuO + CO → Cu + CO2

  • Tetracarbonyl nickel is formed by the reaction of carbon monoxide with nickel. It’s a highly poisonous substance with a musty odor.

Ni + 4CO → Ni(CO)4

  • At a very high temperature, carbon monoxide interacts with water to form CO2 and H2.

CO + H2O → CO2 + H2

  • Hemoglobin binds with carbon monoxide. This is a cause of death in humans owing to excessive carbon monoxide intake.

Hgb + CO → HgbCO

Uses of Carbon Monoxide

  1. It is one of the reagents used in the manufacture of aldehydes.
  2. It’s a chemical that’s used to make detergents.
  3. Carbon monoxide is used to make phosphorene.
  4. It’s utilized in the nickel purification process.
  5. It is used to create hydrogen in water gas shift processes.
  6. It’s utilized in the coloring of the meat.
  7. As a reducing agent, it is employed.
  8. It can be found in a variety of drinks.
  9. It’s employed in high-powered infrared lasers as well as the elimination of rust from metal surfaces.
  10. It is utilized in the field of metallurgy.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What characteristics does carbon monoxide have?


Carbon monoxide has the following properties:

  • The molecular weight of carbon monoxide is 28 g.
  • It’s a tasteless, odourless, and colourless gas.
  • It has a high level of toxicity.
  • Flammable to the point of exploding,
  • Carbon monoxide has a melting point of -20 5°C.
  • Carbon monoxide has a boiling point of -191.5°C.
  • At 25°C, less than 25mg of carbon monoxide may be dissolved in 1 L of water.

Question 2: Why is carbon monoxide dangerous?


When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it replaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain, and other essential organs of oxygen. Massive amounts of CO will envelop you without notice in minutes, forcing you to lose consciousness and suffocate. CO poisoning is also a significant threat to foetuses.

Question 3: What are the effects of carbon monoxide on the human body?


Humans are affected by carbon monoxide in both positive and negative ways. Carbon monoxide levels in red blood cells rise, reducing the amount of oxygen carried by haemoglobin throughout the body. As a result, essential organs such as the brain, nerve tissues, and the heart are deprived of sufficient oxygen to operate correctly.

Question 4: What will happen when carbon monoxide reacts with copper oxide?


When carbon monoxide reacts with copper oxide, copper and carbon dioxide are generated.

CuO + CO → Cu + CO2

Question 5: What will happen when carbon monoxide reacts with nickel?


Carbon monoxide reacts with nickel to produce tetracarbonyl nickel. It has a musty odour and is extremely dangerous.

Ni + 4CO → Ni(CO)4

Question 6: What will happen when carbon monoxide reacts with chlorine?


When carbon monoxide reacts with chlorine, COCl2 is generated.

CO + Cl2 → COCl2

Question 7: Where is CO found?


CO can be found in exhaust fumes from automobiles, small engines, stoves, lanterns, barbecues, fireplaces, gas ranges, and furnaces. CO can accumulate indoors, poisoning humans and animals who breathe it.

Question 8: What are the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?


Headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest discomfort, and confusion are the most typical symptoms of CO poisoning. Symptoms of CO are frequently described as “flu-like.” CO poisoning can cause you to faint out or even kill you if you inhale too much of it. CO poisoning can kill people who are sleeping or inebriated before they show symptoms.

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Last Updated : 01 May, 2022
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