Initially, compounds of carbon could only be obtained from living sources and there was no way of synthesizing them. Hence, carbon compounds are also known as organic compounds.
Carbon forms a large number of compounds. So far, formulae of about 3 million carbon compounds are known.
Cause of formation of such a large number of compounds by carbon:-
(a) Carbon can form bonds with other carbon atoms. This property of carbon is known as CATENATION. Because of catenation, carbon can form a long chain; while making bond with other carbon atoms. Carbon can make single, double and triple bonds by catenation.
(c) Carbon can form branched chain; along with straight chain; while combining with carbon atoms, i.e. because of the property of catenation.
(b) Carbon has four electrons in its outermost orbit. This gives carbon the valency which is equal to 4. That’s why carbon is tetravalent.
Carbon can also form bonds with other types of monovalent atoms; apart from carbon. Carbon can make long chain combining with other atoms also. For example; carbon can form bonds with oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc.
Carbon-carbon bonds are very stable, which makes the compounds of carbon stable.
Hydrogen + Carbon = Hydrocarbon.
Compounds; formed because of the combination of hydrogen and carbon are known as hydrocarbons.
Types of hydrocarbon: Saturated and Unsaturated.
Hydrocarbons having single bonds are known as SATURATED HYDROCARBONS. Saturated hydrocarbons are known as ALKANE. These are also known as paraffin.
Example: Methane, Ethane, Propane, etc.
Unsaturated hydrocarbon: Unsaturated hydrocarbons are of two types – Hydrocarbon with double bond and hydrocarbon with triple bond.
Hydrocarbon with double bond: Hydrocarbons having at least one double bond are known as ALKENE
Ethylene, Propylene, Butylene, etc.
Hydrocarbon with triple bond: Hydrocarbons having at least one triple bond are known as ALKYNE.
Ethyne, Propyne, Butyne, etc.
ALKANE: Hydrocarbons having only single bonds are known as alkane. These are saturated hydrocarbons. Alkane are also known as paraffin.
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