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Carbon Suboxide - Reciprocal Net Common Molecule Log in
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Carbon Suboxide

Carbon suboxide is a foul-smelling lachrymatory gas.

Chemical Formula: C3O2
Layman's explanation: Carbon Suboxide is a foul-smelling, lachrymatory gas produced by the dehydration of malonic acid, CH2(COOH)2, with P4O10. It is a stable molecule at -78° C, but at 25° C the compound is unstable and it polymerizes to form highly colored solid products. Under the influence of ultraviolet light (in the process known as photolysis), C3O2 decomposes to form the very reactive molecule ketene, C2O. Since carbon suboxide is the acid anhydride of malonic acid, it reacts slowly with water to produce that acid. In the laboratory, carbon suboxide, is widely used as a source of atomic carbon. As a gas it can be stored in a bulb at a pressure of a few mm Hg, but under conditions of standard temperature and pressure (300 K, 1 atm), C3O2 forms a yellow, red, or brown polymer.
Keywords: atomic carbon, lachrymatory gas

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