[Solved]- Carbon Dioxide CO2 Ionic or Covalent Bond?

Carbon Dioxide CO2 Ionic or Covalent Bond?

Carbon dioxide is a covalent bond. It is a bond that exists between two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom. Both of these atoms belong to the non-metal category. In the formation of a CO2 molecule, both types of atoms share their own set of outermost electrons. 

The reason why CO2 is covalent, not ionic is that the atoms are not in the condition to lose electrons due to energy consideration thus transfer is not possible. It is totally unlike ionic bonds.

During the process, only the outermost electron of an atom takes part only. It means that the inner electrons do not participate in providing stability for making a covalent bond. When this carbon dioxide covalent bond forms, it releases energy. This energy is often calculated in kilo-joule units.

One thing to remember is more energy, more instability. When two electrons and a carbon atom combine by sharing electrons to complete their outermost octet, there is a release of energy. So, a molecule CO2 is most stable than a single atom of carbon and oxygen.

A simple concept to remember if two non-metal atoms are participating in the formation of a molecule then it is a covalent bond. Thus, this is the reason CO2 has covalent bonds not ionic.

How is CO2 a covalent bond

We all know that carbon has the atomic number 6 =2,4 (Electric Configuration) and oxygen has an atomic number of 8= 2,6 (Electric Configuration). When they are not combined they have their own separate properties and characteristics. When two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom join together, they together make a new compound with totally different properties.

Diagrammatically, that shows CO2 is one of the covalent bond. For make it clear understanding, Let’s draw Lewis structure.

For accurate representation, let’s place a carbon atom in the center and two oxygen atoms adjacent to it. Mark with dots. These dots nothing but a representation of electrons in each of the atoms.


Now, remember octet means 8. Each atom needs eight electrons in its outermost shell to make a molecule and find itself more stable.

Now here, I want to clear something really great, if someone ask you why do atoms combine? your simple answer should because they want to achieve stability.

During the sharing of electrons, the two oxygen atoms together contribute overall four outermost electrons to provide stability to carbon. Whereas the carbon atom has already 4 electrons in its outermost shell and it needs two more electrons from both oxygen atoms to put itself in a stable position. Now each carbon atom shares two electrons with both oxygen atoms.


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