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Revision as of 22:45, December 22, 2012


Carbon monoxide, with the chemical formula CO, is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. Its molecules consist of one carbon atom covalently bonded to one oxygen atom. There are two covalent bonds and a coordinate covalent bond between the oxygen and carbon atoms. Carbon monoxide is produced from the partial combustion of carbon-containing compounds, notably in internal-combustion engines. Carbon monoxide forms in preference to the more usual carbon dioxide when there is a reduced availability of oxygen present during the combustion process. Carbon monoxide has significant fuel value, burning in air with a characteristic blue flame, producing carbon dioxide. Despite its serious toxicity, CO plays a highly useful role in modern technology, being a precursor to myriad products.

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