Formal Charge of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
The carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule consists of carbon (C) with four valence electrons and an oxygen (O) atom with six valence electrons. The carbon atom shares a double covalent bond with each oxygen atom. Its most stable Lewis structure is shown below.
To calculate the formal charge of CO2, let us determine the formal charges on C and O atoms.
V = 4, N = 0, B = 8
qf = 4 – 0 – 8/2 = 0
The formal charge on C in CO2 is zero.
Oxygen 1 and Oxygen 2
V = 6, N = 4, B = 4
qf = 6 – 4 – 4/2 = 0
The formal charge on O in CO2 is zero.
The net formal charge is: 0 + 2 x 0 = 0
The formal charge of CO2 is zero.