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Grade: 12


What is the formal charge on carbon of the molecular ion CO32- (Carbonate ion )? With explaination & PLZ tell me WHAT IS THE MEANING OF FORMAL CHARGE :? PLZ EXPLAIN !!!!!!! plz reply !!!!

9 years ago

Answers : (1)

AKASH GOYAL AskiitiansExpert-IITD
419 Points

Dear Priya

a formal charge (FC) is the charge assigned to an atom in a molecule, assuming that electrons in a chemical bond are shared equally between atoms, regardless of relative electronegativity.

The formal charge of any atom in a molecule can be calculated by the following equation:

FC = V - N - {B \over 2}

Where V is the number of valence electrons of the atom in isolation (atom in ground state); N is the number of non-bonding valence electrons on this atom in the molecule; and B is the total number of electrons shared in covalent bonds with other atoms in the molecule.

When determining the correct Lewis structure (or predominant resonance structure) for a molecule, the structure is chosen such that the formal charge (without sign) on each of the atoms is minimized.


  • Carbon in methane: FC = 4 - 0 - (8÷2) = 0
  • Nitrogen in NO2-: FC = 5 - 2 - (6÷2) = 0
  • double bonded oxygen in NO2-: FC = 6 - 4 - (4÷2) = 0
  • single bonded oxygen in NO2- FC = 6 - 6 - (2÷2) = -1

for co3-2

V=4, N=0, B=8 (4 from C and 4 from 3 0)

Formal charge on carbon =4-0-8/2= 0


All the best.                                                           


AskiitiansExpert-IIT Delhi


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9 years ago
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