Check sibling questions

What are the two properties of carbon which lead to the huge number of carbon compounds we see around us?

 

Answer

Carbon has a very versatile nature which allows it to form a huge number of compounds.

This is mainly because of two properties unique to the C-atom:

REASONS FOR VERSATILITY OF CARBON - Teachoo.jpg

 

  1. Catenation : It is the property of carbon atoms to form bonds with each other.

Carbon atoms have the ability to form bonds with other carbon atoms

  • These carbon atoms connect atom to atom to form long chains . This property is known as Catenation .
  • Catenation is an extremely useful property as it gives rise to a large number of Carbon compounds.

CATENATION IN CARBON - Teachoo.jpg

  • Tetravalency:  

Carbon has 4 valence electrons

  • It can neither donate all 4 of its valence electrons, nor accept 4 electrons from another to achieve Noble gas configuration 
  • Hence, it shares electrons with other atoms to form covalent bonds
  • Since its valency is 4 Carbon can form upto 4 covalent bonds at once
  • This is known as tetravalency. .

TETRAVALENCY OF CARBON - Teachoo.jpg

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CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 12 years and a teacher from the past 16 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo