With many other elements, carbon forms numerous compounds; these compounds are termed as carbon compounds. Methane (CH4) is the fundamental compound formed by carbon. The compound formed by the combination of carbon and hydrogen is known as a hydrocarbon.
Reason for number of carbon compounds
Carbon forms numerous compounds because of the following reasons:
- Tetra valency – Carbon atoms readily form covalent bonds with the other atoms.
- Catenation – Two carbon atoms readily form covalent bonds, and this bond is more stable than the bonds formed by the other elements.
- Carbon atoms have varying bond order and hybridisation. That is, they can form double or triple bonds.
- The electronegativity of the carbon atom is average.
- Carbon atoms can share not only a single electron with another atom to form a single bond, but they can also share two or three electrons, forming a double or triple bond.