Carbon Monoxide Lewis Structure

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ElizabethP1L
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:01 am

Carbon Monoxide Lewis Structure

Postby ElizabethP1L » Tue May 22, 2018 12:21 am

Hey, everyone! I'm just a bit confused on the Lewis structure for carbon monoxide with consists for a triple bond with oxygen and two lone pairs (one pair on C and the other on O). For reference, see part C of HW problem 3.49. How can carbon even form a triple bond and have a lone pair left over if it only has 4 valence electrons to begin with?

Bianca Nguyen 1B
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Carbon Monoxide Lewis Structure

Postby Bianca Nguyen 1B » Tue May 22, 2018 12:47 am

Hi Elizabeth,

You’re right that carbon only has 4 valence electrons, but oxygen has 6. So in order to give both atoms an octet, one of the three bonds is going to have both electrons coming from oxygen. This can be kind of confusing to think about, but as long as you just remember that both atoms are trying to get to 8 valence electrons (with some exceptions such as H, He, Li, Be, Group 13 elements), then your Lewis structures will reflect that.

ElizabethP1L
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:01 am

Re: Carbon Monoxide Lewis Structure

Postby ElizabethP1L » Tue May 22, 2018 8:58 pm

So, in other words, CO is an example of a coordinate covalent bond?

Bryan Jiang 1F
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am
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Re: Carbon Monoxide Lewis Structure

Postby Bryan Jiang 1F » Tue May 22, 2018 11:29 pm

Yes, since for one of the bonds in the triple bond the oxygen provides two electrons, this makes it a coordinate covalent bond between the carbon and oxygen in CO.


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