Hybridization, Molecular Geometry, and the MO Diagram are all examples of CO2 Lewis Structure.

Carbon dioxide is a colourless gas that many of us are familiar with!

We’ve known that we inhale oxygen and exhale CO2 since we were in elementary school. Is that, however, all we need to know?

Almost certainly not! We can see that there are many more things related to CO2 when we go more into chemistry. We need to know more about this gas in order to learn all of those things effectively.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the “World of Carbon Dioxide”!!

This gas has a variety of applications in various fields. CO2 can be found in anything from refrigerants to carbonated beverages. We must not overlook the significance of this for the plants!!

It’s also used in a variety of industries.

CO2 has a density of 1562 Kg/m3 and a molar mass of 44.009 g/mol. Let’s start with the fundamentals of CO2 molecules.

Lewis Structure of CO2

The lewis structure of CO2 can be deduced using a few easy procedures, but first it is necessary to comprehend the lewis structure.

As a result, the Lewis structure gives us a general notion of the nature of atom bonding and octet completion. An atom achieves stability by satisfying its octet, according to the octet rule.

Carbon, for example, requires 6 electrons to complete the octet, whereas oxygen only need 2 electrons.

Let’s go over the steps for making a Lewis structure of any chemical rapidly.

Step 1 – First and foremost, we must determine the total number of valence electrons in the molecule. The + and – signs should be handled with caution. A ‘+’ sign indicates that electrons are being lost, whereas a ‘-‘ sign indicates that electrons are being gained.

Step 2 – Next, we must determine the molecule’s core atom. The centre atom is usually the one with the most bonding sites.

Step 3 – The next step is to make a skeleton with only single bonds.

Step 4 – Finally, we must complete the octet of atoms with the remaining electrons. It’s best to start with the electronegative atoms and then go on to the electropositive atoms.

Step 5 – Finally, we must determine whether numerous bonds are required to satisfy the octet rule for all atoms.

Step 6 – Finally, make sure that all of the atoms have the lowest feasible formal charge. The following formula can be used to calculate the formal charge: –

Let us now look at the Lewis structure of CO2.

The number of valence electrons in carbon is equal to four.

The number of valence electrons in oxygen is equal to six.

For two oxygen atoms, the number of valence electrons is 6*2 = 12.

The total number of valence electrons is 16.

When choosing the core atom, keep in mind that carbon has the most bonding sites. As a result, carbon is the molecule’s core atom.

Following up on the previous step and creating the skeleton diagram, we can observe that 4 electrons have been consumed thus far. There are still 12 electrons left.

However, if you look at the octet of atoms, you’ll notice that carbon’s octet isn’t filled. As a result, the rule dictates that the lone pairs be converted to double bonds.

There will be 8 electrons left now. These eight electrons are dispersed among the atoms in the area.

Finally, double-check that both carbon and oxygen have eight electrons. In addition, both have the smallest formal charge imaginable.

In this way, the Lewis structure of CO2 is produced in about 4-5 stages!

Hybridization of CO2

The CO2 hybridization is Sp. The carbon atom is Sp hybridised, while the oxygen atoms are Sp2, resulting in a Sp hybridised molecule.

Hybridization can be comprehended in two ways: first, by understanding the orbital combination, and second, by applying a simple formula.

Let’s first grasp the idea, and then we’ll be able to apply the formula with ease!

C = 1s2 2s2 2p2 is the ground state configuration.

O = 1s2 2s2 2p4 has a ground state configuration of 1s2 2s2 2p4.

When the atoms attain their excited state, one electron from the carbon 2s orbital jumps to the 2p orbital, which is now unoccupied. As a result, the new configuration is – 2p3 1s2 2s1

This results in the development of two Sp orbitals, each containing one electron from the 2s orbital and one electron from the 2p orbital of the carbon atom. A sigma bond is generated when the p orbitals of oxygen interact with the hybrid orbitals formed.

This clarifies the theory of CO2 hybridization. Let’s get to the thrilling part now! The recipe!!

The formula for determining the hybridization of any chemical is as follows:

[V+M-C+A] H = 12


H denotes hybridization, V denotes the number of valence electrons, M denotes the number of monovalent atoms, C denotes the charge of the cation, and A denotes the charge of the anion.

If H is 2, then Sp hybridization is the case.

Similarly, if H= 3, Sp2 hybridization is present.

Similarly, if H is 4, the molecule will exhibit Sp3 hybridization.

When H reaches the age of five, Sp4 hybridization will occur.

The molecule will demonstrate Sp3d2 hybridization when H is 6.

In the case of CO2,

The number of valence electrons in the central atom (V) is equal to four.

Because oxygen is a divalent atom, M = 0.

C and A will be 0 in this case since CO2 is a neutral molecule.

H = 12 [4] is the final result.

Sp hybridization = 2

These two approaches are frequently utilised to comprehend CO2 hybridization.

Geometry of CO2 Molecules

CO2 has a straight form. CO2 has a bond angle of 180 degrees.

The VSEPR theory can be used to calculate the molecular geometry of any substance. The VSEPR chart, which is shown below, will give us some insight into this.

So, based on the preceding diagram, CO2 is an AX2 type molecule, with X denoting a bound atom.

As a result, the CO2 molecule’s molecular geometry will be linear.

CO2 has a linear electron geometry as well. Allow me to clear the air before you assault me with questions regarding electron geometry!!

So, while defining the shape of a molecule, molecular geometry solely considers the atom. Electron geometry, on the other hand, encompasses all electron pairs.

The distinction between these two types of geometry arises from the inclusion of lone pairs in electron geometry.

Because CO2 lacks a lone pair, both geometries are identical in this situation.

Let’s look at this compound’s molecular orbital diagram.

Diagram of the Molecular Orbital (MO) of CO2.

CO2’s molecular orbital diagram is shown below.

Diagram of CO2 MO

The bonding of the orbitals is depicted in a molecular orbital diagram of any molecule. It also assists us in determining the molecule’s bond order, bond length, and bond strength.

The atomic orbitals of carbon are shown on the left side of the diagram. Oxygen AO’s are also present on the left side. The MO is in the middle.

The 2s orbital of oxygen, as can be shown, is not engaged in mixing and remains a nonbonding orbital. The significant energy difference between the orbitals of carbon and the 2s orbital of oxygen is the cause behind this.

All 16 electrons are filled exactly according to the regulations. According to the MO diagram, the antibonding orbitals are unoccupied in the case of CO2.

Let us look at the methods of CO2 gas creation in addition to these notions.

Polarity of CO2

Because the CO2 molecule has a linear structure, both oxygen atoms have an equal impact on the charge, making it a nonpolar molecule.

Because there is no dipole moment generated across the molecule, there is no polarisation.

You can also refer to the article on CO2 polarity for more details.

Preparing CO2

When calcium carbonate is treated with hydrochloric acid, CO2 is generated.

2HCl    +      CaCO3      ——–>      CO2   +     CaCl2    +     H2O

This is the simplest way for producing CO2 in the laboratory.

Process 2 – A mixture of methane and oxygen is another option.

CH4     +     2O2     ——->     CO2      +     2H2O

According to this approach, any carbon-based fuels can produce CO2 throughout the burning process.

The thermal breakdown of CaCO3 is the third method utilised to prepare CO2.

CaCO3      ——->      CaO    +     CO2

In this procedure, calcium carbonate is heated to around 850°C. Quick lime is made from the CaO generated in this method and is frequently utilised in industry.

Carbonic acid is utilised in Process 4 to create CO2. CO2 and water are formed during the breakdown of this acid.

H2CO3     ——–>    CO2    +    H2O

The creation of foam or bubbles as a result of the release of CO2 is frequently used in industry since it neutralises waste acid streams.

Process 5 – CO2 is produced as a by-product of the fermentation of many alcoholic beverages, such as beer and whisky.

C6H12O6     ———>       2CO2      +     2C2H5OH

Process 6 – The glucose respiration process produces CO2 and water as byproducts.

C6H12O6     +     6O2      ——->     6CO2     +      6H2O

Next, we must understand CO2’s Lewis structure, geometry, and hybridization.


As I previously stated, in order to fully comprehend the utilisation of carbon dioxide, we must first study about its history. Lewis structure, hybridization, molecular geometry, and the molecular orbital diagram are all part of this background.

This article contains all of the accessible information on these issues.

Following that, you can easily move on to any other CO2-related issue. I hope you find the answers to your long-awaited inquiries at the end of this essay!! Have a good time learning.

If you have any questions about any of the above themes, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Read more: Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity of ClF5 Lewis Structure

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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