Cl2CO lewis structure, Characteristics: 13 Facts You Should Know


Cl2CO lewis structure is designated as a very famous toxic compound phosgene which exists in gaseous form. Its lewis structure formation and related electronic and bond properties are discussed in this article.

Cl2CO lewis structure involves 1 carbon atom surrounded by 2 chlorine atoms and 1 oxygen atom. Here there is sharing of electrons where carbon shares its 2 electrons with oxygen forming a double covalent bond and the other 2 electrons with each chlorine atom leading to 2 single covalent bonds. This completes the octet stability requirement for each of the atoms involved.

Cl2CO lewis structure named as carbonyl chloride and addressed as toxic gas phosgene is a very popular gaseous compound in organic chemistry. It has a very strong odor like that of musty hay and is colorless. Cl2CO lewis structure is used in making organic dyestuffs and many novel polymers like polycarbonate resins and polyurethane resins.

Cl2CO lewis structure
Cl2CO lewis structure representation

Discussing its physical and chemical properties the Cl2CO lewis structure is non-flammable and its odor has suffocating and asphyxiating properties. Cl2CO lewis structure has a long history where it was used as a chemical instrument and a pulmonary irritant responsible for all the wrong reasons disturbing lives of approximately 85,000 people. Later in the 19th century, it was used as an important chemical in the industrial revolution.

Apart from historical and toxicological significance Cl2CO lewis structure is used in many chemical reactions and the reaction of phosgene with any other organic substrate is called phosgenation. For instance diols, especially bisphenol reacts with Cl2CO lewis structure to form polycarbonates. In the present scenario laboratory usage of phosgene is avoided in organic synthesis due to safety concerns.

To understand the structure of Cl2CO lewis structure it is important to focus on its lewis structure formation which is discussed ahead.

How to draw Cl2CO lewis structure?

Certain steps are important in determining the exact Cl2CO lewis structure

Step 1: Calculating the total number of valence electrons involved

It is very much clear from the formula of Cl2CO lewis structure that there are 3 elements involved in the structure formation. Carbon (Atomic number = 6 and electronic configuration = 2,4) belongs to the 14th group of the periodic table and has 4 valence electrons. Similarly oxygen (Atomic number = 8 and electronic configuration = 2,6) and chlorine (Atomic number = 17 and electronic configuration = 2,8,7) belong to group 16 and 17 of the periodic table with 6 and 7 valence electrons respectively. So the total numbers of valence electrons involved are 4 + 6 + 7*2 = 24

Step 2: Looking out for the central atom

The central atom in the Cl2CO lewis structure is the one with the least electronegativity as it helps in the proper dispersal of the electron density for better stability. In the Cl2CO lewis structure carbon is the least electronegative and is designated as the central atom surrounded by terminal chlorine and oxygen atoms.

Step 3: Completion of the octet stability

Octet rule completion is the next step in Cl2CO lewis structure formation through sharing. Carbon is the central atom that has 4 valence electrons and needs 4 more to complete the octet stability. So it will share its 2 electrons with the 2 electrons of the oxygen atom. This fulfills the stability condition of the oxygen atom which required only 2 electrons and results in double covalent bonds. The remaining 2 electrons of the carbon are shared with 1 electron of each chlorine atom leading to 2 single covalent bonds.

Step 4: Calculating the formal charge

Calculation of formal charge is the final step in every lewis structure formation. For the Cl2CO lewis structure to be reliable it should have the least formal charge for every element involved. Over here the formal charge of Carbon, oxygen, and chlorine is 0 which confirms the identity of the Cl2CO lewis structure.

Apart from Cl2CO lewis structure formation, it is important to look out for the properties associated with it which are listed below.

  1. Cl2CO lewis structure resonance
  2. Cl2CO lewis structure shape
  3. Cl2CO lewis structure formal charge
  4. Cl2CO lewis structure angle
  5. Cl2CO lewis structure octet rule
  6. Cl2CO lewis structure lone pairs
  7. Cl2CO lewis structure valence electrons
  8. Cl2CO lewis structure hybridization
  9. Cl2CO lewis structure solubility
  10. Is Cl2CO lewis structure ionic?
  11. Is Cl2CO lewis structure acidic or basic?
  12. Is Cl2CO lewis structure polar or nonpolar?
  13. Is Cl2CO lewis structure tetrahedral?
  14. Is Cl2CO lewis structure linear?

Cl2CO lewis structure resonance

Resonance or mesomerism is usually observed in organic compounds which have lone pairs of electrons and the presence of double bonds. Cl2CO lewis structure commonly denoted as phosgene is not untouched from it and has 3 canonical or resonating structures formed because of the delocalization of electrons.

Here a single structure is not responsible for explaining all the properties of the Cl2CO lewis structure. The hybrid resonating structures can be best explained diagrammatically.

Resonance in Cl2CO lewis structure

Cl2CO lewis structure shape

The molecular shape is the 3D representation of any atomic arrangement formed by sharing of electrons in a plane. To find the molecular shape and geometry of Cl2CO lewis structure it is important to follow VSEPR theory. 

VSEPR theory is based on the fact that electrons, especially lone pairs of electrons from a negatively charged cloud around the molecule and due to repulsions affect the shape. In the context of the Cl2CO lewis structure, there is a central carbon atom surrounded by three electron-rich oxygen atoms and 2 chlorine atoms with no lone pairs. Hence the Cl2CO lewis structure will be trigonal planar.

2D and 3D representation of Cl2CO lewis structure

Cl2CO lewis structure formal charge 

The formal charge is the electric distribution of atoms with the assumption that bonded atoms will share the electrons equally in the molecule. There is a formula to calculate the formal charge of every atom involved. 

FC = Valence electrons – Non bonding electrons – ½ Bonding electrons

FC of C in Cl2CO lewis structure = 4 – 0 – ½ 8 = 0

FC of O in Cl2CO lewis structure = 6 – 4 – ½ 4 = 0

FC of Cl in Cl2O lewis structure = 7 – 6 – ½ 2 = 0

 As the values are the least formal charge so the Cl2CO lewis structure representation is correct and stable.

Cl2CO lewis structure angle

It is very much clear that due to the absence of lone pairs of electrons, the Cl2CO lewis structure shows a symmetrical trigonal planar shape. But its bond angle C-Cl is 111.8 degrees instead of 120 degrees because of the double bond between C=O which because of being short reduces the electron density thereby shrinking the molecule.

Cl2CO lewis structure octet rule

All the atoms involved in the Cl2CO lewis structure follow the octet rule and the sharing of electrons happens in such a way that it completes the criteria for everyone. Carbon has 4 valence electrons and needs 4 more which are obtained by sharing 2 electrons with oxygen and one electron each with chlorine.

Chlorine needs 1 electron to complete its octet which is obtained by sharing with the carbon. Oxygen needs 2 electrons to complete the 8 electron condition which is obtained by sharing 2 electrons with carbon. This completes the octet for every atom involved.

Cl2CO lewis structure completes all its octet requirements and is symmetrical. Discussing the presence of lone pairs of electrons then it only matters if they are present on the central atom. In the Cl2CO lewis structure, there is no lone pair on the central carbon atom as they all are shared. Hence there is 0 lone pair of electrons.

Cl2CO lewis structure valence electrons

Valence electrons are the outermost electrons which due to less nuclear forces can easily participate in the bonding. Before the formation of the Cl2CO, lewis structure carbon had 4 valence electrons, oxygen had 6 valence electrons and chlorine had 7 valence electrons.

After sharing all three elements in Cl2CO lewis structure has 8 valence electrons which are of utmost significance due to stability criteria.

Cl2CO lewis structure hybridization

Hybridization is a very important concept in bonding. It deals with the atomic orbitals which are arranged in order of increasing energies. Hybridization can also be found using the concept of steric numbers. The steric number is equal to the number of atoms bonded to the central atom + the number of attached lone pairs. 

In the context of Cl2CO lewis structure steric number = 3+0 = 3. It means that hybridization of Cl2CO lewis structure is sp2. 

Cl2CO lewis structure solubility

Cl2CO lewis structure solubility is both in an aqueous medium and organic medium. Phosgene is sparingly soluble in water and decomposes into hydrochloric acid and carbon dioxide. Cl2CO also reacts with ethanol but it is completely soluble without any precipitation in benzene, toluene, liquid hydrocarbons, and glacial acetic acid.

Is Cl2CO lewis structure ionic?

No, the Cl2CO lewis structure is not ionic. From its lewis structure, we can see that there is sharing of electrons instead of donation and acceptance. So this proves that the Cl2CO lewis structure is a covalent compound.

Is Cl2CO lewis structure acidic or basic?

As predicted by VSEPR theory, Cl2CO lewis structure is a planar molecule and according to its preparation and reactions, it is derived from the acyl chloride and formally is derived from carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is a weak organic acid thereby proving that phosgene is acidic.

Is Cl2CO lewis structure polar or nonpolar?

The polarity of Cl2CO lewis structure can be judged from the electronegativity difference between the atoms. According to the Pauling chart, the electronegativity of carbon, oxygen, and chlorine is 2.55, 3.44, and 3.16 respectively.  Also, the electronegativity difference between C=O and C-Cl is more than 0.5 which leads to a partial positive charge on carbon and a partial negative charge on oxygen and chlorine.

Also, the net dipole moment does not cancel out due to the absence of linearity and symmetry. Hence all the scenarios point towards Cl2CO lewis structure being a polar molecule.

Is Cl2CO lewis structure tetrahedral?

Cl2CO lewis structure is not tetrahedral because of many facts. Firstly according to the concept of steric number Cl2CO lewis structure has steric number 3 which points towards AX3 kind of shape and tetrahedral belongs to AX4 shape. 

Another factor is the absence of lone pairs on the central atom. It proves that the Cl2CO lewis structure is not tetrahedral in any aspect.

Is Cl2CO lewis structure linear?

Cl2CO lewis structure is not a linear molecule as it has more than 2 atoms involved. At the same time according to VSEPR theory Cl2CO lewis structure shows an AX3 type structure. The absence of lone pair is another reason Cl2CO lewis structure is a trigonal planar and not linear.

Conclusion

Summarizing the above article then Cl2CO lewis structure or phosgene is a very important polar covalent organic compound where there is sharing of electrons between carbon, oxygen and chlorine. Along with that there are no lone pair of electrons and the molecule is planar with sp2 hybridisation showing solubility in both aqueous and organic medium.

Mansi Sharma

Hello, I am Mansi Sharma, I have completed my master's in Chemistry. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. I am a Subject Matter Expert in Chemistry. Let's connect through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mansi-sharma22

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