Carbon and It's Compounds

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About Carbon and It's Compounds

The chemistry Carbon and its compounds is an interesting study. If we compare diamond and charcoal, one is an attractive, shiny, hard rock, whereas the other is an ashy, black, and soft substance. However, both these are carbon elements! Their varied properties are only because of the different arrangement of the carbon atoms.

In fact, the entire field of organic chemistry is based on carbon and the bonds it forms. The study of chemistry carbon and its compounds is undoubtedly essential for understanding the elements available around us. In general, carbon compounds are organic in nature.


What is Carbon?

The computer/mobile screen on which we are reading this concept, the clothes that we are wearing, the cars we ride, and even the food we eat all have one thing in common. What is this one thing? All these are composed of some elements of carbon, even in a negligible count. All organic things actually are made up of carbon. This is why the study of science carbon and its compounds is essential for everyone.

The name 'carbon' originated from a Latin word 'carbo' which means charcoal. This may be a surprise to us, but it is the fourth most abundant element to that of the entire universe And the second most abundant element in our bodies (the first being oxygen). As a piece of fact, all organic substances present in the world contain carbon in at least some form or element, which is why it is the base for the entire organic chemistry branch.


Carbon Atom

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Carbon's atomic number is 6, which denotes the number of electrons. Carbon is a non-metal and is represented by the symbol C. It has protons, neutrons, and electrons, all with a count of 6 each. A carbon atom is considered to be unique and special because it can bond with other carbon atoms to an unlimited degree almost. This is because its atom is too small in size and can fit in as a part of larger molecules conveniently. In its outer shell, each of its atoms has four electrons called valence electrons and can form for chemical bonds with molecules and other atoms.


Properties of Carbon Compounds

The physical and chemical properties of carbon and its compounds are given below. Let us have a look at them in brief.

Physical Properties of Carbon Compounds

Carbon's physical properties vary according to its allotropes. The two significant allotropes are graphite and diamond. Almost both of these have opposing physical properties.

  • Diamond is transparent with no colour, and graphite is black and opaque

  • Graphite is soft and spongy in texture and diamond is the hardest substance known to man

  • Now graphite is a perfect conductor of electricity, and diamond cannot conduct electricity at all

  • Both allotropic elements are non-gaseous and solid

  • Also both graphite and diamond are insoluble in water

  • It sublimes which is it turns to gaseous form; it does not melt when heated

Chemical Properties of Carbon Compounds

The critical chemical properties of carbon compounds are given below.

1. Combustion

The carbon compound undergoes a combustion reaction to form CO2 and H2O with the evolution of light and heat.

CH4 +O2 > CO2 + 2O + light and heat

2. Oxidation

CH3CH2OH \[\overset{alk.KM_nO_4 / ∆ }{\rightarrow}\] CH3COOH

  ethanol                                                ethanoic acid

The substance which is used for oxidation is known as an oxidising agent.

For example, acidified K2Cr2O7, alkaline KMnO4.

3. Addition Reaction

Unsaturated hydrocarbons (alkynes and alkenes) undergo an addition reaction in the presence of catalysts. An example of a similar reaction is given below.

CH3CH2OH \[\overset{alk.KM_nO_4 / ∆ }{\rightarrow}\] CH3COOH

  ethanol                                ethanoic acid

4. Substitution Reaction

Saturated hydrocarbons provide a substitution reaction. For example, methane in the presence of sunlight undergoes chlorination.


Uses of Carbon in daily life

Even though carbon is used in our many daily activities, we may not make a notice of it. A few of the most important uses are listed below.

  • It makes up 18% of the human body. Glucose, sugar, proteins, and so on are all made of it. The food we intake contains a vital energy source, which we call carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are simply the elements of carbon itself

  • Carbon in diamond form is used in jewellery. Besides, diamonds are also used for industrial purposes. It is such the hardest substance known to man, and thereby, it has many uses in manufacturing processes

  • Amorphous carbon is used to prepare paints and inks. Also, it is used in batteries

  • Graphite is used as the lead of the pencils and in the steel production

  • One of the most primary uses is carbon dating. Actually, we can use carbon to measure the age of things. Scientists use a rare carbon form, which is Carbon-14, to measure the age of bones, fossils, and more. The release of this carbon-14 is recorded to estimate the life of the specified organic substance. This is how scientists find the period and age of dinosaur fossils and bones!

So carbon is an exciting element with uncountable uses if we noticed the uses mentioned above.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain the chemical Oxidation Reaction of Carbon Compounds?

Ans. Carbon compounds are oxidized in a combustion reaction in the presence of oxygen. Though combustion is an oxidation reaction generally, not all the oxidation reactions are combustion. Also, oxidation is carried out by using oxidizing agents which are nothing but the Oxidants.

Oxidizing agents are also referred to as Oxidants are the substances that oxidize other substances while undergoing reduction among themselves.

Alcohols undergo oxidation in the presence of Oxidants such as alkaline potassium permanganate (KMnO4) to produce carbolic acids.

For example, ethanol undergoes oxidation to form Acetic acid when heated by an Oxidizing agent such as alkaline KMnO4.

CH3CH2OH + 2(O) ---> CH3COOH + H2O

2. What are the compounds of Carbon?

Ans. Carbon compounds are those whose molecules contain a carbon atom. They are the chemical substances where a carbon atom has bonded to an atom of another element. These compounds are generally organic in nature. However, many are under false impression can if a molecule contains carbon, it is organic in nature. This is not correct. There are various inorganic carbon compounds like CO2 (carbon dioxide).

Carbon compounds are broadly divided into two categories.

Saturated Carbon Compounds

The compounds that are satisfied by a single bond between them are saturated compounds. An example is Ethane (C2H6). Here, the octet or duplet of both the atoms is fully complete only by a single bond.

Unsaturated Carbon Compound

The satisfied compounds only either by double or triple bonds are unsaturated carbon compounds. Ethene C2H4 is an unsaturated carbon compound having a double bond.