Which of the following formula represents a molecular substance? - ProProfs
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Which of the following formula represents a molecular substance?

Which of the following formula represents a molecular substance?

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A. CaO
B. CO
C. Al2O3
D. Li2O

This question is part of Chemistry Regents Prep #1
Asked by Esthomas on Jan 30, 2017

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2 Answers

N. Kingsley

N. Kingsley
Writer, Columbus

Answered on Jul 17, 2018

Carbon monoxide or CO is the molecular substance in this equation. In order to form a molecule, the atoms must share their electrons rather than completely give or take them away. On all the other options, the atoms either take or give away electrons completely. This gives them a positive or a negative configuration which results in ionic structures instead of molecules. Covalent bonds have an electronegativity difference of less than 1.7.

However, all the options except carbon monoxide have a much higher difference. This makes them all ionic and hence wrong answers. Covalently liked structures, with sharing of electrons, form molecules.

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John Smith

John Smith

Answered on Jan 30, 2017

CO represents a molecular substance here. So, the correct option will be B.

To understand the answer,you need to determine the electronegativity difference of each of the choices. The difference between Carbon (2.6) and Oxygen (3.4) in CO is 0.9 or in the range of covalent bonding (covalent bonds have electronegativity differences of less than 1.7). The other three compounds have differences in the ionic bond range or over 1.7. Hence, it is the correct answer.

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