Why is it important to study Carbon in depth? This element is the fundamental unit of organic compounds, everything can be explained by its unique properties.
The chemical behavior of carbon began to be explained through the studies of two 19th century scientists, Archibald Scott Couper (1831-1892) and Friedrich August Kekulé (1829-1896). These scholars gave their name to the “Couper-Kekulé” postulates, let’s now learn about the properties of carbon detailed by this concept:
1st postulate: The carbon atom is tetravalent
The tetravalence of carbon is its property of forming four covalent bonds, that is, it makes four bonding electrons available. This is because in its valence shell the carbon atom has 4 free electrons.
Methane: molecule formed by the bond of 4 Hydrogen atoms (H) to 1 carbon atom (C).
2nd postulate: The four valence units of carbon are equal to each other.
Fluoromethane is an example of this property, there is only one compound with this name, it is formed by replacing a hydrogen in the Methane molecule with a Fluorine (F) atom. Fluoride can replace any H of the molecule that will receive the same nomenclature, notice the illustration below:
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Any position occupied by the Fluorine atom will give rise to Fluoromethane.
3rd postulate: Chaining property – ability of atoms of the same element to form molecular chains.
Carbon atoms bond directly with each other, forming structures called carbon chains. The variety of organic compounds existing in nature is due to this property of Carbon to form chains. The above compound (decane) is formed by 10 atoms of W interconnected.
By Líria Alves
Graduated in Chemistry
Carbon and riding kits – teach the tetravalency of carbon in a fun way.
Organic Chemistry – Chemistry –