How to Draw CO Lewis Structure

How to draw co lewıs structure

Lewis Dot Structure for CO

C atom and O atom have 10 electrons in the valence shell. It means that Carbon and Oxygen should have a triple bond. But why is that? Why does CO have a triple bond? As we know, regular organic carbonyls form double bond. If we perform the octet rule for C and O, these 2 atoms create a triple bond. This bond has 6 shared electrons in 3 bonds.

co periodic table, co lewis structure, how to draw co lewis structure

CO Lewis Structure has 10 valence electrons. To draw the CO Lewis structure, you’ll need to show the triple bond between the C and O atoms in order to complete the octets of each atom.

How many bonding electrons are in the Lewis structure carbon monoxide, CO?

There are 6 bonding electrons in carbon monoxide, CO.

What is the formal charge for CO?

The formal charge of carbon monoxide, CO is zero. Formal charge of CO is 0.

What is the charge of carbon in CO?

The charge of carbon in Carbon monoxide, CO is zero.

How to Draw CO Lewis Dot Structure?

CO is a very simple molecule. Drawing the Lewis structure of carbon monoxide is easier than drawing Lewis Structure for most of the complex compounds. Since formal charge of CO is zero, it’s easier. And if you know there should be a triple bonding between C and O atom, then drawing CO Lewis Structure is as easy as pie.

Check out our video to learn how to draw CO Lewis Structure or Lewis Structure for carbon monoxide:

How to Draw CO Lewis Structure Video

So, let’s find out the answer for How to Draw CO Lewis Structure. If you want to draw CO Lewis Structure, you need to know the basics of drawing Lewis Structure. Lewis Dot Structure is very easy to learn, all you need to do is to understand the theory. This article covers the Lewis structure of monoxide as well as the basics and methods of Lewis Dot Structure.

Total Electrons in CO

C is a group IVA element in the periodic table. Carbon has 4 electrons in its valence shell. O is a group VIA element in the periodic table. Oxygen has 6 electrons in its valence shell. Since we know how many electrons each atom has in their valence shells, we can calculate the total electrons in CO molecule.

  • valence electrons of Carbon = 4 * 1 = 4
  • valence electrons of Oxygen = 6 * 1 = 6
  • Total valence electrons of CO = 10

Total Electron Pairs in CO

How can we calculate the total electron pairs in CO? Well, it’s easy. All we need to do is to divide total valence electrons by 2. The result is the total electron pair.s As we calculated above, CO molecule has 10 total valence electrons. If we divide 10 valence electrons by 2, we receive 5 pairs. It means that in the valence shells of CO, there are 5 total pairs of electrons.

Center Atom of CO

How to decide which atom is the center atom in a molecule? All you need to do is to check their valences. The atom with higher valence is the center atom. But there are only 2 atoms in CO compound. So we don’t need to find the center atom.

Lone Pairs in CO

As you can check below, we found that there are 5 electron pairs in CO. Which means that we need to show 5 bonds or lone pairs on our CO Lewis Structure.

co basic structure
CO Basic Structure

Above you can see the basic structure of CO. But we know that there should be 5 electron pairs including bonds and lone pairs. So, what’s next?

Remaining electrons need to be shown on CO Lewis Dot Structure.

co bonds and lone pairs
CO Lone Pairs

Charges of CO

You can see the charges of C and O atoms in the picture below:

co charges

We need to minimize the charges of atoms by turning lone pairs to bonds. And the structure shown in above picture is not stable and a lone pair of O atom should be converted to a bond.

co lone pairs

But the CO Lewis Structure which shown above is still unstable because octal of C atom is not completed. Another lone pair of O atom should be converted to another bond. So, we can achieve a triple bond between C and O atoms. But, +1 charge on O and -1 charge on C will remain. Check out the final CO Lewis Dot Structure below:

CO Lewis dot structure, how to draw lewis dot structure co
CO Lewis Dot Structure


CO is a very easy molecule to draw Lewis Dot Structure. We hope that you learned how to draw CO Lewis Dot Structure. If you have any questions about CO Lewis Structure, please contact us.

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