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

Carbon Dioxide CO2 Ionic or Covalent Bond?

We are familiar with the CO2 from the junior classes. Also know very well that carbon dioxide is present in air in a very small quantity. The percentage proportion of this gas varies from 0-03 to 0.04, but it has gone up slightly because of man’s activities.

Before getting into the answers, we are well aware of the some facts and benefits of having CO2 in atmosphere.

  • CO2 is essential for the process of photosynthesis, by which green plants prepare food. Carbon dioxide dissolved in water helps in photosynthesis of aquatic plants. Its salts (bicarbonates) add taste to water.
  • Carbon dioxide minimizes heat loss by radiation, by reflecting heat back to the earth’s surface, particularly at night. Thus, it balances the temperature of the earth.
  • Carbon dioxide gas is used in fire.

Let’s discuss how CO2 forms and discuss its structure as well.

Is 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.


Is CO2 an ionic compound?

No, CO2 is not an ionic compound. It is a covalent compound that form by sharing of electron not by transference of outermost electron from one atom to another.

Does CO2 double bond?

CO2  has two double bonds. The bond exist between metalloid and non-metal- carbon and oxygen. The contribution of electron is from both of the atoms. The covalent double bond takes place between one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.

How many covalent bonds are in CO2 ?

There are four covalent bonds in CO2 molecule compound. The four covalent compound are the result of sharing electron pair between metal and nonmetal.

Why does CO2 form a double bond?

Generally, a covalent bond can exist in single, double and triple Bond. In case of carbon dioxide, it is a double bond. It exist because each double bond uses two bond pair. Valence bond theory identify the bond order between carbon and oxygen is 2. So, carbon dioxide contains two double bond.

In covalent CO2 double bond, total four electrons contribute to form one sigma bond and one pi bond.

Why does CO2 have no lone pairs?

A lone pair means two. Lone pair are the electrons that are not participating in formation of bonding. In CO2 , carbon share its all valence electrons with oxygen atom hence no lone pair exist for carbon.

Whereas, each oxygen atom contributes its two electrons, rest remain available that are not participating are lone pair.

Each Oxygen contains two lone pairs total four electrons present in each oxygen atom.

Overall, 4 lone pair are present in carbon dioxide CO2 molecule.

Why is CO2 a double bond?

Carbon dioxide is a double bond because two lone pair contributing to form CO2 bond in order to achieve stability. The central atom carbon has 4 electrons can be represented with dot structure, whereas each oxygen  atom contains 6 valence electrons making double bond.

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