12
$\begingroup$

$\ce{CO_x}$ are part of the oxocarbon molecule class. Commonly known are $\ce{CO}$ and $\ce{CO2}.$ However, there are molecules in which $x$ is equal to or larger than $3.$ Those molecules are barely known, other than the fact that they're unstable.

$\ce{CO3}$ decomposes slowly enough that it may come into contact with other molecules (including biomolecules), but nothing is known of its possible oxidizing potential.

$\ce{CO4},$ $\ce{CO5}$ and $\ce{CO6}$ are very unstable, and could possibly be strong oxidants (though it may never be known since they're too unstable).

Other than that, any information?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Its hard to give (m)any solid facts about molecules which barely exist. ;) What would CO5 even look like? A ring structure? $\endgroup$ – Karl Dec 26 '19 at 8:07
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ What are the properties of two-headed people that live on an island beyond the ocean? $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Dec 26 '19 at 8:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The compounds do exist, however, they aren't stable above really cold temperatures (around 120 K for carbon tetroxide, to 106 K for carbon pentoxide and then 60 K for carbon hexoxide). $\endgroup$ – JMRD Dec 26 '19 at 10:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Adding to previous comment, logically, carbon trioxide should be stable until an even higher temperature than carbon tetroxide. In the gas phase however, as noted, it still decomposes slowly enough to potentially encounter other molecules. $\endgroup$ – JMRD Dec 26 '19 at 10:16
5
$\begingroup$

At least the trioxide $\ce{CO3}$ exists, and it has even been detected in at least two isomeric forms. Wikipedia reports that it forms as a transient species in reactions between carbon dioxide and atomic oxygen or ozone, in irradiation of solid carbon dioxide, and even in oxidation of carbon monoxide by $\ce{O2}$.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ If you have said A, you must also say B: $\ce{CO4}$; $\ce{CO5}$; $\ce{CO6}$. Don't leave Wikipedia half-milked:) $\endgroup$ – andselisk Dec 26 '19 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ Thus, "at least" the trioxide. Feel free to add more info! $\endgroup$ – Oscar Lanzi Dec 26 '19 at 19:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.