Carbon is an element which is of immense significance to us in both its elemental form and in the combined form.

Bonding in Carbon – The Covalent Bond

Although there are more than hundred elements around us we do not find these elements in their native form in nature. This is because most of these elements are highly reactive.

Properties of Covalent Compounds

A covalent bond can be formed in different ways. When a bond is formed by mutual sharing of one pair of electrons it is known as a ‘single covalent bond’, or simply ‘a single bond’.

Types of Covalent Bonds

Types of covalent bonds are Single Bond, Double Bond , Triple Bond.

Tetravalency in Carbon

A carbon atom has a total of six electrons occupying the first two shells, i.e., the K-shell has two electrons and the L-shell has four electrons.

Allotropes of Carbon

The existence of one element in different forms, having different physical properties, but similar chemical properties is known as allotropy.

Amorphous Forms of Carbon

Coal is formed in nature by the ‘carbonisation’ of wood. Conversion of wood to coal under the influence of high temperature, high pressure, and in the absence of air is termed carbonisation.

Versatile Nature of Carbon

Although organic compounds are basically made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and a few more elements, their number is far greater than the inorganic compounds which don’t form bonds.

Saturated and Unsaturated Carbon Compounds

Hydrocarbons as they are known are the most important of organic compounds. Some of the hydrocarbons occurring in nature are very simple, while some are very complex.

Homologous Series

All organic compounds are made up of a progressively building chain of carbon atoms with a number of compounds having the same functional groups.

Nomenclature of Carbon Compounds

Nomenclature is the system of assigning a proper name to a particular carbon compound on the basis of certain rules.

Chemical Properties of Carbon Compounds

Most of the carbon-containing compounds associated with hydrogen i.e., hydrocarbons are fuels that produce heat on burning.

Some Important Carbon Compounds – Ethanol

Many carbon compounds find applications in almost all aspects of our daily life as we have seen earlier.

Some Important Carbon Compounds – Ethanoic Acid

Acetic acid is one of the commonest organic acids and has been known for quite a long time in the form of vinegar.

Soaps and Detergents

Soaps or detergents are cleansing agents that are capable of reacting with water to dislodge these foreign particles from a solid surface.


Study of the compounds of carbon is organic chemistry. They form the basis of living organisms and the things around us.