# How many pi bonds are in CO_2?

Dec 6, 2016

2 $\pi$ bonds

Let's consider the lewis structure of $C {O}_{2}$, and we can consult our molecular orbital manifold between the bonding species if need be.

#### Explanation:

For $C {O}_{2}$ we have:

We know that $\sigma$ bonds form for single bonds (including dative bonds), and that the $\pi$ bonds will be all of the bonds which form thereafter.

Counting the bonds within the species, I see two $\pi$ bond, and two $\sigma$ bond.

Let's place the electron between the bonding oxygen and central atom carbon in our molecular orbital manifold:

Notice how the electron from both species, distributed into the manifold are colored red - can you count the number of $\pi$ bond that are present within the manifold? I see one $\pi$ bond within the manifold - and the manifold is done for exactly half of the symmetrical species. So, noting that the other half of the species will follow the same configuration - we can deduce that there are 2 $\pi$ bond in the $C {O}_{2}$ species.