Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, flammable gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and slightly less dense than air. It is the simplest carbon oxide and is a key ingredient in many processes in industrial chemistry. It is the most common source of carbon monoxide, which is important in the production of many compounds, including drugs, fragrances, and fuels. Carbon monoxide has important biological roles across phylogenetic kingdoms and is produced by many organisms, including humans. In mammalian physiology, carbon monoxide is a classical example of hormesis, where low concentrations serve as an endogenous neurotransmitter (gasotransmitter) and high concentrations are toxic resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning. The history of carbon monoxide dates back to around 800,000 BC, with early humans likely discovering the toxicity of carbon monoxide poisoning upon introducing fire into their dwellings. The early development of metallurgy and smelting technologies, which emerged around 6,000 BC through the Bronze Age, also plagued humankind from carbon monoxide exposure. Indigenous Native Americans may have experienced the neuroactive properties of carbon monoxide through shamanistic fireside rituals. Early civilizations developed mythological tales to explain the origin of fire, such as Prometheus from Greek mythology who shared fire with humans. Aristotle (384–322 BC) first recorded that burning coals produced toxic fumes, and Greek physician Galen (129–199 AD) speculated that there was a change in the air that caused harm when inhaled. Many others developed a basis of knowledge about carbon monoxide in the context of coal fume toxicity. The pre-industrial revolution saw the first modern scientific investigation into carbon monoxide poisoning from coal in 1716, Herman Boerhaave conducting the first scientific experiments on the effect of carbon monoxide on animals in the 1730s. Joseph Priestley, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Torbern Bergman, and Antoine Lavoisier identified carbon monoxide as a compound containing carbon and oxygen in 1800. Thomas Beddoes and James Watt recognized carbon monoxide as hydrocarbonate in 1793, suggesting that coal fumes could act as an antidote to the oxygen in blood. Adrien Chenot also suggested carbon monoxide to remove oxygen from blood and then be oxidized by the body to carbon dioxide. The mechanism for carbon monoxide poisoning is widely credited to Claude Bernard, whose memoirs began in 1846 and published in 1857.
The CAS Number of Carbon Monoxide is 630-08-0
The Molecular Formula of Carbon Monoxide is CO
The Molecular Mass of Carbon Monoxide is 28.01
The SMILES Notation of Carbon Monoxide is [C-]#[O+]
The InChI Notation of Carbon Monoxide is InChI=1S/CO/c1-2