What covalent compound is CO?

1 Answer
May 13, 2014

CO is carbon monoxide.

Carbon forms two oxides: carbon dioxide, CO2, and carbon monoxide, CO. Carbon monoxide is toxic (it binds irreversibly to haemoglobin in blood, preventing the transport of O2 and CO2 during respiration) unlike carbon dioxide.

It is formed as a result of the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing compounds such as hydrocarbons when the supply of oxygen is limited.

The bond between the C and the O atom is interesting, in that it conmprises a double covalent bond as well as a dative covalent bond, so is equivalent to a triple covalent bond, making this hard to break, and hence CO stable and fairly unreactive.