Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is formed by the incomplete oxidation of carbon. It is found in petrol fumes.


Lab method

1.        Concentrated sulphuric acid is added to oxalic acid and heated. Dehydration occurs, and a mixture of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide is formed.
Carbon monoxide is collected by the downward placement of water.
H2C2O4 Δ (Conc. H2SO4) H2O + CO2 + CO 
Carbon dioxide is absorbed by potassium hydroxide solution.

2.         Concentrated sulphuric acid is added to formic acid and heated. Dehydration occurs, and the carbon monoxide formed is collected over water.
H · COOH Δ (Conc. H2SO4) H2O + CO

Sodium formate can also be used – first formic acid is liberated, then it is dehydrated
H · COONa + H2SO4 NaHSO4 + H · COOH
H · COOH Δ (Conc. H2SO4) H2O + CO

These preparations should be carried out in fume cupboards.



  1. It is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas.
  2. It is slightly soluble in water.
  3. It is highly poisonous.
  4. Boiling point -192°C
  5. Melting point -207°C


  1. It is a neutral oxide of carbon.
  2. It is a stable compound.
  3. It does not support combustion, but is combustible.
               2CO + O2 2CO2 + 135400 cal.
  1. It reduces metal oxides at high temperatures.
               PbO + CO Pb + CO2
               CuO  + CO Cu + CO2
               Fe2O3 + 3CO 2Fe + 3CO2
  1. It combines with chlorine in sunlight and in the presence of charcoal.
               CO + Cl2 COCl2 carbonylchloride (phosgene)
  1. At 200°C and 6-10 atmos. it combines with sodium hydroxide.
               NaOH + CO H · COONa
  1. It forms an addition product with copper (I) chloride in HCl or ammonia solution.
               CuCl + CO + 2H2O CuCl · CO · 2H2O
    1. With hydrogen, at 300°C, and over nickel, it forms methane.
  300°C, Ni
                                 CO + 3H2  CH4 + H2O
    1. With hydrogen, at 400°C, and zinc and chromium oxides it forms methyl alcohol.
                              CO + 2H2  CH3OH


  1. As a fuel – producer of water gas
  2. To manufacture phosgene, sodium formate, and methyl alcohol

No comments:

Post a Comment