Difference WikiChemistry

Difference Between Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Main Difference

The main difference between the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) is that Carbon Dioxide (CO2) contains two atoms of oxygen covalently bonded, whereas, Carbon Monoxide (CO) contains one oxygen atom covalently bonded.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) vs. Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Carbon dioxide is the atmospheric naturally occurring gas, whereas carbon monoxide is not natural atmospheric gas. Carbon dioxide was first observed in 1640 by Jean Baptist Van Helmont, while Aristotle first observed carbon monoxide. Carbon dioxide is non-toxic gas at room temperature; on the other hand, carbon monoxide is toxic and fatal for humans and animals. The carbon dioxide contains two atoms of oxygen bonded by a double bond; on the flip side of the coin, carbon monoxide contains one atom of oxygen, which is triply bonded to carbon.

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Carbon dioxide has zero dipole moment; on the other side, carbon monoxide has a dipole moment of 0.122D. Carbon dioxide is the major respiratory byproduct of animals, whereas carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels by the partial decomposition. Carbon dioxide has a bond length of 116.3pm, while carbon monoxide has a bond length of 112.8pm between carbon and oxygen.

Carbon dioxide has a molar mass of 44g/mol, whereas carbon monoxide has a molar mass of 28g/mol. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas, whereas carbon monoxide is not greenhouse gas. Carbon carries an oxidation state of +4 in carbon dioxide; on the flip side, carbon carries the oxidation state of +2 in carbon monoxide.

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Comparison Chart

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon dioxide contains two atoms of oxygen covalently double bonded, produced naturally as a result of aerobic respiration and fermentationCarbon monoxide contains one oxygen atom covalently triple bonded produced by partial decomposition
Source
By the combustion of fossil fuelsBy the partial decomposition of fossil fuels
Natural Occurrence
Found naturally in the atmosphereFound in troposphere
Molar Mass
44g/mol28g/mol
Bond Length
116.3pm112.8pm
Dipole Moment
Zero0.122D
Oxidation Reactions
Doesn’t give oxidation reactionsGive oxidation reactions
Toxicity
Non-toxicHighly toxic binds hemoglobin
Flammable Property
Non-flammableFlammable
Effect on Body
Affects respiratory systemIt affects the CNS, blood, and lungs.
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What is Carbon Dioxide (CO2)?

Carbon dioxide as gas was first observed by the Jan Baptist Van Helmont in 1640 during the experiment of charcoal burning in the closed vessel when he observed a gas evolving from it. In the frozen state, called dry ice. Carbon dioxide is an odorless gas, colorless when in low concentrations, whereas acidic and sharp taste in high concentrations. Atmospheric content of carbon dioxide has increased to a level of 0.04% or 412ppm. It is non-flammable and non-toxic gas at room temperature. It forms the carbonic acid when dissolved in water, which also a cause of ocean acidification.

Carbon dioxide is the inorganic compound as gas has two oxygen atoms covalently bonded by double bonds to each oxygen atom with 44g/mol of molar mass. The bond length is 116.3ppm between the covalent bond of carbon and oxygen. Its dipole moment is zero as it is a linear molecule with both oxygen atoms at the opposite sides of the middle carbon.

Carbon dioxide is the respiratory byproduct of aerobic organisms and fermentation. In the atmosphere, one of the major sources of carbon dioxide is the combustion of fossil fuel, which causes carbon dioxide to evolve as a source of global warming. It exists as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere as it traps the radiations to exit out of the atmosphere. Animals exhale carbon dioxide, which is further utilized by the plants maintaining the balance of nature.

Applications

CO2 serves as food additives, carbonated beverages, as dry ice for preservation in the wine industry, fire extinguishers, oil recovery, refrigerants, etc.

What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?

Carbon Monoxide was first observed by Aristotle in burning coal-producing toxic fumes. Carbon monoxide contains one carbon and one oxygen atom, which are bonded by the one sigma and two pi bonds having a dipole moment of 0.122D and a bond length of 112.8pm. Because of lighter molecular weight than air, it is slightly less dense than air. In coordination chemistry, carbon monoxide is a strong ligand for the ligand association with metal ion in (VBT)Valance bond theory.

The oxidation state of carbon in the CO is +2 as oxygen carries -2 charge. Carbon monoxide is a flammable, toxic, colorless, and odorless gas. It is produced in the atmosphere as a result of incomplete or partial combustion(burning) of fossil fuels, which includes coal, oil, and natural gas by partial oxidation. The largest natural source of CO is in the troposphere, where it is produced about 5 × 10 12 kg per year as a result of the photochemical reactions.

Toxicity

It is one of the fatal air poisoning gas in many countries as the normal level of tolerance is less than 2.3% in adults, but this tolerance level becomes higher in newborns of about 12%. The CO at the lower level of 667ppm may cause 50% of the body’s oxyhemoglobin to be converted to carboxyhemoglobin. The CO combines with the hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying protein masks the oxygen content in the blood. The symptoms of CO poisoning are dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, etc. Neurological disorders also occur as disorientation, visual disturbance, seizures, and confusion occur.

Key Differences

  1. Carbon dioxide was first observed by the Jean Baptist Van Helmont, whereas carbon monoxide was first observed by Aristotle.
  2. Carbon dioxide contains two oxygen atoms, while carbon monoxide contains one oxygen atom.
  3. Carbon dioxide is double covalently bonded; on the other hand, carbon monoxide is triply bonded.
  4. Carbon dioxide has a bond length of 116.3pm between carbon and oxygen; on the flip side, carbon monoxide has a bond length of 112.8pm between carbon and oxygen.
  5. Carbon dioxide is a respiratory byproduct of aerobic respiration and fermentation, whereas carbon monoxide is produced by the partial decomposition of fossil fuels.
  6. Carbon dioxide is naturally occurring gas of the atmosphere; on the other side, carbon monoxide is not natural gas of atmosphere.
  7. Carbon dioxide serves as the greenhouse gas maintaining the Earth’s temperature, while carbon monoxide is toxic and fatal gas for the animals.
  8. Carbon dioxide has a zero dipole moment as it is a linear molecule; on the flip side of the coin, carbon monoxide has a dipole moment of 0.122D.
  9. Carbon dioxide contains an oxidation state of +4 on the carbon; on the other hand, carbon monoxide contains an oxidation state of +2 on the carbon.
  10. Carbon dioxide doesn’t exhibit oxidation reactions, while carbon monoxide exhibits oxidation reactions.

Conclusion

Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring respiratory byproduct containing two oxygen atoms, while carbon monoxide is a product of partial decomposition of fossil fuels containing one oxygen atom.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss