Chemistry 9th Edition

Published by Cengage Learning
ISBN 10: 1133611095
ISBN 13: 978-1-13361-109-7

Chapter 8 - Bonding: General Concepts - Questions: 25

Answer

The best resonance structure of $CO_2$ contains a central carbon atom double bonded to each oxygen atom.

Work Step by Step

This resonance structure is the best because the formal charge of all atoms is 0. This is the ideal formal charge. The other 2 resonance structures involve a central carbon atom single bonded to one oxygen atom and double bonded to the other oxygen atom. This is not ideal because the formal charge of the oxygen atom with the single bond is -1 and the formal charge of the oxygen atom with the triple bond is +1.
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