Carbon monoxide - CO

What is Carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colourless gas and is represented as CO.

It has one carbon atom which is covalently bonded to one oxygen atom. It is also known as Carbonic oxide or Carbon oxide. It is a toxic gas. It is odourless and has no taste. It is a poisonous gas that when inhaled causes asphyxiation and damage to the Central Nervous System. When it combines with haemoglobin it forms Carboxyhemoglobin. It is widely used as industrial fuel for various operations.

Table of Contents

Properties of Carbon monoxide – CO

CO Carbon monoxide
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 28.010 g/mol
Density 789 kg/m3
Boiling Point −191.5 °C
Melting Point −205.02 °C

Carbon monoxide Structure

Carbon monoxide structure

Carbon monoxide Structure – CO

CO Uses

  • It is used in the production of methanol
  • It is used in the packaging of fresh meat products such as fish, beef, etc
  • It is used as a strong reducing agent
  • It is used in infrared lasers
  • It is used in beverages and food like jam and cola to acidify them
  • It is used to remove rust from the surface to metals.

Carbon Compounds

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


Why carbon monoxide is dangerous?

CO is very toxic as it can form complex with haemoglobin in the red blood cells. Haemoglobin combines with oxygen to form oxyhaemoglobin. Oxyhaemoglobin (formed in lungs) is carried to different cells where it gives its oxygen. CO has stronger affinity for haemoglobin than oxygen. Due to this, the oxygen carrying capacity of blood is destroyed.. This results in suffocation and finally death.’

What appliances can cause carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a combustion by-product. Popular home appliances, such as gas or oil furnaces, gas refrigerators, gas clothing dryers, gas ranges, gas water heaters or space heaters, fireplaces, charcoal grills, and wood burning stoves are made.

How does carbon monoxide affect the human body?

Carbon monoxide has positive and adverse effects on humans. Increased levels of carbon monoxide in red blood cells decrease the amount of oxygen haemoglobin carries throughout the body. The effect is that vital organs like the brain, nervous tissues, and the heart don’t get enough oxygen to function properly.

Can you recover from carbon monoxide poisoning?

The majority of people who experience moderate carbon monoxide poisoning rapidly recover when they step into fresh air. Moderate or extreme contact of carbon monoxide induces impaired vision, confusion, unconsciousness, hallucinations, chest pain, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, and coma.

How do you get rid of carbon monoxide?

Breathing in pure oxygen is the only way to treat the CO poisoning. The procedure raises blood oxygen levels and helps keep CO out of the body. The doctor will put an oxygen mask over the mouth and nose and ask you to inhale it.

Also Read:

Citric Acid Calcium Hydroxide
Carbonic Acid Ethylene Glycol

Learn more about the chemical behavior and importance of Carbon monoxide (CO) with the expert faculties at BYJU’S – India’s largest education company.

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