What's the difference between carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide?
July 31, 2008
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, toxic gas that has the molecular formula CO. The molecule consists of a carbon atom that is triply bonded to an oxygen atom. Carbon monoxide is a commercially important chemical. It is also formed in many chemical reactions and in the thermal or incomplete decomposition of many organic materials.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless, faintly acidic-tasting, and nonflammable gas at room temperature. Solid carbon dioxide, also known by the trade name Dry Ice, sublimes (converts directly from a solid to a gas) at -78 °C (-109V) or above. Carbon dioxide is a molecular solid with a molecular formula CO2. The linear molecule consists of a carbon atom that is doubly bonded to two oxygen atoms, O=C=O.
IMPORTANT: Although both gases are common products of combustion, DO NOT confuse non-toxic carbon dioxide with poisonous, deadly carbon monoxide.