What is the formal charge on each atom in CO2?

Answer:

CO2 is a neutral molecule with 16 total valence electrons.

Carbon single bonded to both oxygen atoms

Carbon = +2

Oxygens = −1 each

∴ Total formal charge = 0

Carbon single bonded to one oxygen and double bonded to another

Carbon = +1

Oxygen double = 0

Oxygen single = −1

∴ Total formal charge = 0

Carbon double bonded to both oxygen atoms (carbon = 0, oxygens = 0, total formal charge =0). Since carbon has 4 valence electrons, its formal charge will be zero.

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