How many electrons are in carbon and what features of carbon?


How many electrons are in carbon


Carbon is a non-metal that can exist as graphite or diamond, among other things. Other modifications (fullerenes, nanotubes) are known. Carbon is also present in the form of coal (hard coal, lignite) or as soot. The chemistry of carbon-hydrogen compounds is particularly extensive. Carbon predominantly forms covalent compounds. Carbon is able to form multiple chains and rings.

Properties of the element

Classification in the periodic table
of elements and properties
Atom bau
Atomic number: 66 protons
6 electrons
2. Period2 occupied electron shells
IV. Main group4 outer electrons
Electron configuration in the ground stateHe 2s22p2
Ionization energy in eV11,260
most common oxidation numbers+4, -4
Atom masse des Elements in u12,01
Atom radius in 10- 1 0m0,77
Ionen radius in 10- 1 0m0,16; (+4) 2,60 (-4)
state of matter in the normal statefest
How many electrons are in carbon

Material constants and frequency of occurrence in nature

Density at 25 °CGraphite: 2.26;
Diamond: 3.51
Hardness according to MohsGraphite: 0.6 – 1.0;
Diamond: 10th
speed of sound inpicture18350
Melting temperature in °Cgraphite: 3730;
Diamond: > 3550
specific heat of fusion inpicture8750
The boiling temperature in °C4830
specific heat of vaporization inpicture59166
Standard entropy S0 inpicture6
Thermal conductivity at 27 °CGraphite: 5.7;
Diamond: 990 – 2320
specific heat capacity inpictureDiamond: 0.519
Volume expansion coefficient in 10- 3picture 
spec. electrical resistance inpictureGraphite: 0.01375;
Diamond: 0.01
Share in the Earth’s shell in % (atmosphere,
water, Earth’s crust up to a depth of 10 km)
How many electrons are in carbon

Isotope des Elements

number Z
number A
Atoms in thefrequency
in %
Type of radiation
and energy in MeV
61010,016artificiallyβ: 1.919 s
 1111,011 432artificiallyBild: 1.020,5 min.
 1212,000 00098,9%  
 1313,003 3541,1%  
 1414,003 242 Bild: 0.25,7 · 103 a
 1515,010 600 b: 4.52,3 s
How many electrons are in carbon

More properties

Carbon occurs in three modifications that differ greatly in terms of their physical properties.


The crystalline modification of carbon is extraordinarily stable. Pure diamond, made up of only carbon atoms, is colorless, clearly translucent, and refracts light into all the colors of the rainbow (diamond luster). Due to foreign atoms contained, e.g. B. manganese, iron, or aluminum, different colors can occur. Because of the very stable arrangement of the atoms, this modification is not only extremely hard and brittle, but also chemically very stable and resistant to acids, alkalis, or other aggressive substances. Diamond is not electrically conductive. Only when heated to over 1,500 °C does the diamond transform into graphite in the absence of air.


Graphite appears greasy, is very soft and flaky, and is gray to black in color. Because there are freely moving electrons within the crystal lattice, graphite can conduct electricity. The carbon in graphite is also quite inert under standard conditions and at room temperature only reacts with one partner, fluorine, the most aggressive element in the periodic table. Graphite is made up of layers of C Bullrings.


This modification of carbon was only discovered in 1985. Fullerenes are formed when graphite evaporates. They have elastic properties. “How many electrons are in carbon”

At higher temperatures, elemental carbon reacts with oxygen (combustion). If there is an excess of oxygen, carbon dioxide is formed; if there is a lack of oxygen, carbon monoxide is formed. Above 800 °C, carbon reacts with water to form «water gas», a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. When heated strongly, carbon reacts with sulfur to form carbon disulfide, also known as carbon disulfide. When thermal energy is supplied, salt-like substances, the carbides (e.g. calcium carbide), are formed from carbon and some metals.


Carbon has been known to man since primeval times. Charcoal was used as fuel and charcoal, and bone and blood charcoal as well as soot were used as drawing material. But it was not until 1787 that the French chemist LAVOISIER recognized that carbon is a chemical element. Nine years later, S. TENANT succeeded in artificially producing the element for the first time. He extracted carbon and calcium phosphate from glowing lime and phosphorus vapors. In 1807 the Englishmen W. ALLEN and WH PEPYS proved that both diamonds and graphite consist only of carbon. “Carbo” means “charcoal” in Latin. The element name “Carboneum” is derived from this term. The German «carbon», on the other hand, is a derivative of coal.”How many electrons are in carbon”


Carbon is one of the relatively common elements. In nature, the element can be found as pure carbon in the so-called “native form” as diamond and graphite. Old volcanic vents in particular are common places where diamonds are found. Due to very high temperatures and pressure, valuable stones were formed here in the course of the earth’s history. Eventually, through erosion and weathering, they end up in alluvial silica and on sea beaches. The most important deposits of diamonds are in the Kimberley in the Republic of South Africa. The rock containing diamonds was also called “kimberlitic” after this discovery site. There are also larger diamond deposits in the Congo, Yakutat, and Siberia in Russia, Australia, and Brazil. Graphite originated from organic substances and transformed over millions of years. Natural graphite deposits are found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Mexico, Canada, and the USA.

However, carbon is much more common in bound form. The earth’s crust contains hard coal and lignite, which are of vegetable origin, as well as natural gas and petroleum from animal material. However, the element is most commonly found in the mineralized form of carbonates. Carbonates are the salts of carbonic acid. Important rock-forming carbonates are z. B. Calcium carbonate in the form of limestone, chalk, or marble (CaCO3), magnesium carbonate as magnetite (MgCO3), calcium-magnesium carbonate as dolomite (CaCO3 x MgCO3), iron carbonate as siderite (FeCO3). Carbon also occurs in water in the form of carbonate ions as a result of weathering processes. The basic building blocks of life such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats or cellulose and lignin as well as all other organic substances are carbon compounds. Life on earth exists on the basis of carbon. The carbon cycle is the most important cycle of all. Finally, in the Earth’s atmosphere, carbon occurs in gaseous form as carbon dioxide and, to a lesser extent, carbon monoxide and methane. This article is consist of information about How many electrons are in carbon.

Graphite is mined from graphite-bearing minerals in mines and then cleaned. However, the deposits are not sufficient. Pure carbon is obtained from petroleum, natural gas, or coal by decomposition under the influence of heat. Diamonds, like graphite, are mined in mines and mines. The original “rough diamonds” can be cut and processed into diamonds if they are of the right size and purity. The cut stones are called diamonds. But industrial diamonds are far more important. Industrial diamonds can be produced synthetically. Graphite is dissolved in liquid heavy metals and transformed into tiny diamond crystals (maximum diameter 1 mm) at around 1800 °C and a pressure of 10 GPA.


Carbon (graphite) is an element with good thermal conductivity and chemical stability, and high resistance to heat. Because of these properties,

it is used in the form of natural graphite for refractory products such as furnace linings or crucibles. However, graphite is also used in pencils and lubricants, since the substance has a greasy effect due to the shift ability of the layers and gives off a gray color.

In technology, electrographite is used as electrode material in electric steel furnaces or in fused-salt electrolysis. In form of electrographite,

it is used as a neutron reflector in nuclear reactors. Pyro graphite is found in space travel and is used as a thermal insulation material, e.g. B. for heat shields on rockets or space gliders.

Carbon black is used in the manufacture of inks and printing inks.

Diamonds are not only used in the cut form as brilliants for jewelry production. Industrial diamonds are much more important. These are used in the technical field.

Here they are used as glass-cutting tools, on diamond drill bits, or as axle bearings for precision instruments.

Coke, a material with very high carbon content, is important for a wide range of chemical processes, e.g. B. in steel production. Finely divided carbon can adsorb toxins.

Activated charcoal is used in the form of charcoal tablets to be taken in case of diarrhea or in gas masks. These are used in the technical field.

Important Connections

  1. Oxides, such as carbon monoxide (CO – starting material for many large-scale syntheses, e.g. for methanol synthesis or for the production of hydrocarbons) and carbon dioxide (CO2 – coolant in refrigeration technology, because of its inert properties as a fire extinguishing agent and protective gas, propellant, important starting material for carbonates, urea or carboxylic acids)
  2. Salts of carbonic acids, such as. B. Potassium carbonate (potash, K2CO3 blowing agent), calcium carbonate (CaCO3 as marble, limestone, calcite rock-forming), sodium carbonate (Na2CO3)
  3. Flux in the glass industry
  4. Carbon fibers (strong, elastic, and extremely light – high-tech building materials)

Organic compounds:

The compounds of carbon in organic substances are innumerable. The simplest form is the hydrocarbons, in which the elements carbon and hydrogen have combined. The simplest hydrocarbon is methane. Alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids, or ketones can form in connection with the element oxygen. If the element nitrogen is also added, the amino group can be included. Amino acids are then formed, which make up proteins. All organic matter on earth is based on carbon. we are writing all about How many electrons are in carbon.



This modification of carbon has an extremely stable lattice in which each carbon atom is surrounded by four other carbon atoms.


In this modification of carbon, the carbon atoms can be arranged in rhombohedra and hexagonal form. This creates a crystal lattice in which there are layers of superimposed six-membered rings.

The fullers

Fullerenes are spatially closed spherical structures. There are numerous ways of arranging up to several hundred carbon atoms. Buckminsterfullerene with 60 carbon atoms is very stable. It is made up of 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons. Other atoms or compounds can also be stored in their interior.


In 1991 another modification of carbon was detected. Their structure looks as if one layer of graphite crystal is rolled up into a tube. Such nanotubes can be up to 1000 micrometers long and have a diameter of up to 100 nanometers. They are extremely elastic and have high tensile strength, some are conductive or semi-conductive, properties that are particularly interesting for microelectronics and the computer industry. However, their use is still very expensive, because this carbon modification costs 10 times as much as gold.

How many electrons are in carbon?

Carbon and carbon compounds

Carbon as an element of main group IV almost exclusively forms polar atomic bonds with other partners. A large number of molecular compounds are formed, starting with hydrocarbons, through the enormous variety of other organic compounds, to inorganic carbon oxides. Carbon compounds play an important role in nature (e.g. carbohydrates, fats, and proteins as the building blocks of life), in environmental chemistry (e.g. the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide), in everyday life (e.g. organic acids as preservatives), and in technology (e.g. petroleum products or materials).

Carbon is an element of main group IV. The carbon atom has 6 protons and usually 6 neutrons in the nucleus and 6 electrons in the atomic shell. There are two electrons in the first shell and four electrons in the second shell. These four electrons in the outer shell are called outer electrons.

In order to achieve a stable electron arrangement, the eight-shell of neon, a carbon atom has to accept four electrons from binding partners. Alternatively, a closed shell would be achieved by releasing 4 electrons. Both are energetically unfavorable, so carbon forms atomic bonds to reach the electron octet. Like all elements of the 2nd period of the PSE, carbon can only form a maximum of four atomic bonds.


Modifications are different manifestations of the same substance. Modifications of an element consist of the same atoms but have different physical and z. T. also chemical properties.

Carbon occurs in nature in several modifications, such as graphite, diamond, or fullerene with very different properties.

Properties of the modifications of carbon
Diamondgraphitefullerene (60)
colorless, crystalline, transparent, highly refractive, very hard, not electrically conductiveGrey-black, flaky, metallic luster, very soft, electrically conductive parallel to the layersdark brown, powdery, lower density than diamond and graphite, not electrically conductive
How many electrons are in carbon

The cause of the different properties is the different structures of the 3 carbon modifications.

In graphite, the carbon atoms are arranged in a honeycomb pattern. They form “honeycomb networks” that are superimposed in many even layers (Fig. 2). Within the hexagon planes, each carbon atom has only three bonding partners. The fourth outer electron is not firmly bound in an atomic bond and can therefore move freely through the lattice. These mobile electrons are the reason for the electrical conductivity and the deep black color of the graphite.

structure of graphite
How many electrons are in carbon

The interaction between the individual layers is relatively weak, so graphite is relatively soft and can even be used as a lubricant.

Unlike graphite, each carbon atom in a diamond is linked to four other carbon atoms. All four outer electrons participate in atomic bonds, and all atoms are equidistant from each other. Four atoms form regular tetrahedrons, which are linked together to form a very stable lattice structure (Figure 3). The stable bonds in the regular crystal lattice are the reason for the extreme hardness of the diamond. Because the outer electrons are all involved in atomic bonds, a diamond cannot conduct electricity and is an insulator.

structure of diamond How many electrons are in carbon

Fullerenes are rare modifications of carbon. They consist of molecules with many carbon atoms, the structure of which is reminiscent of a soccer ball (Figure 4). In nature, fullerenes have been detected in debris from meteorites and in space. They were only discovered in 1985 by the American chemists R. CURL, H. KROTO, and R. SMALLEY, who received the Nobel Prize for this discovery.

Reactions of carbon

Carbon can form compounds with both more electropositive (e.g. hydrogen) and more electronegative partners (e.g. oxygen). With its ability to form four stable atomic bonds, carbon is the most important component of countless organic compounds and is therefore the basic building block of life. Except for the salt-like carbides, carbon forms polar atomic bonds in all of its compounds.

Structure of a fullerene How many electrons are in carbon

However, pure carbon is relatively inert, so only a few compounds can be made directly from the element.

Carbon burns with oxygen to form oxides. Depending on how much oxygen is available, carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide is produced.

2c+O2→2 CO Q = -110.5 kJ ⋅ m ol-1

C+O2→CO2Q = -393kJ⋅mol-1

In addition to the combustion of hydrocarbons, the combustion of carbon provides energy for many industrial processes, ranging from thermal power plants to the blast furnace process.

At room temperature, carbon only reacts with the strong oxidizing agent fluorine. While carbon itself is a powerful reducing agent, most reactions require activation, either at high temperatures or in the presence of a catalyst.

C+2F2→CF4T = room temperature

C+14S8th → CS2T > 850°C

How many electrons are in carbon?

Carbon-hydrogen compounds

Hydrocarbons are molecular compounds that consist exclusively of the elements carbon and hydrogen. Depending on how the carbon atoms are linked, a distinction is made between chain and ring-shaped or saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons (Fig. 6).

Because of the different ways in which the carbon and hydrogen atoms can be arranged, there is a huge number of different hydrocarbons. Despite their different structure, they are the simplest organic carbon compounds; all other organic compounds can be derived from them.

The reaction behavior of the hydrocarbons is described in detail in the articles on alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes on the DVD.

The simplest representative of hydrocarbons is methane. The methane molecule consists of one carbon and four hydrogen atoms. The hydrogen atoms form a regular tetrahedron with the carbon atom in the center. The stable tetrahedron structure is very common in chemistry and occurs both in alkanes and in inorganic solids, e.g. B. in the diamond.

Methane is a colorless, highly flammable gas that forms explosive mixtures with air. It is the main component of natural gas. In coal deposits, too, methane is trapped in more or less large quantities in the coal as so-called mine gas. If safety measures are insufficient, they can then cause serious underground explosions in mines.

It is of great technical importance as a heating gas, as an ecological alternative to conventional fuels, and as synthesis gas in the chemical industry.

How many electrons are in carbon?

Carbon-oxygen compounds

The known oxides of carbon are carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Together with the carbon-sulfur compounds (carbon disulfide, CS2) the oxides, the carbonic acid, and the carbonates form the group of inorganic carbon compounds.

Carbon monoxide is a molecular compound. The molecule consists of one atom of carbon and one atom of oxygen, which are linked by a triple bond (Fig. 7).

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas and lighter than air. It is extremely toxic because carbon monoxide is bound more strongly by the red blood pigment hemoglobin than oxygen. This impedes the oxygen transport of the blood and the person who inhales the gas suffocates. It occurs during burns with a lack of oxygen (see Smoke gas intoxication in smoldering fires in apartments).

Carbon monoxide is not very soluble in water and burns with a bluish flame to form carbon dioxide.


This effect of carbon monoxide as a reducing agent is z. B. used in the blast furnace process to extract iron from the iron oxide:


However, carbon monoxide is reduced by hydrogen. The reaction is called hydrogenation and offers the possibility of industrially producing methanol.

CO+2 h2→CH3OH

In technology, carbon monoxide is used as a synthesis gas mixed with hydrogen. Depending on the catalyst and the reaction conditions, different products can be produced.

Carbon dioxide is also a molecular compound in which the atoms are linked by polar atomic bonds (Fig. 8).

How many electrons are in carbon?

Carbon dioxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is heavier than air. The gas is non-flammable and has an asphyxiating effect. It is therefore used as a protective gas when welding and is often contained in liquid form in fire extinguishers (foam extinguishers). It can be condensed under pressure into a colorless liquid that solidifies when cooled (“dry ice”). While this solid carbon dioxide is used to cool transported goods, it is used in gaseous form (carbon dioxide fumigation) in greenhouses to increase the yield of photosynthetic plants.

In addition, carbon dioxide is a raw material for the production of soda and urea. When reacting with water, small amounts of carbonic acid are formed.


“Carbonated” is added to drinks in the form of carbon dioxide to improve their flavor and shelf life. In an aqueous solution, only 0.1% of the carbon dioxide is converted into acid, and 99.9% is present as physically dissolved oxide. After the bottles are opened, the carbon dioxide escapes as small gas bubbles (Fig. 11).

When detecting carbon dioxide, its reaction with hydroxide solutions of metals of main group II is used. Poorly soluble carbonates are formed in a precipitation reaction.

In the laboratory, barium hydroxide solution (barite water) or calcium hydroxide solution is used.

CO2+Ba (OH) 2→BaCO3+H2O

The structural formula (with formal charges) and space-filling model of the carbon dioxide molecule

Carbon dioxide is released again through reactions of carbonates with stronger acids.

CaCO3+2 HCl→CaCl2+H2O+      CO2

In the atmospheric air is about 0.039 vol%CO2contain. The gas acts as a “heat store” in the atmosphere and is of great importance for the temperature balance on earth. This effect is called the greenhouse effect. By burning fossil fuels, CO2-The content of the atmosphere has increased significantly in recent decades, leading to an artificial intensification of the natural greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse effect

Carbonic acid is a weak acid that is only present in an aqueous solution. The associated salts are called carbonates. Numerous carbonates (e.g. marble: CaCO3, dolomite: MgCO3 ⋅ C a cO3, siderite: fecO3) occur in nature. As a dibasic acid, carbonic acid also forms hydrogen carbonates, e.g. B. NaHCO3 (sodium bicarbonate, baking soda), whereby in an aqueous solution there is an equilibrium between carbonate, dissolved carbon dioxide, and bicarbonate.

CO3 2- + CO2 + H2O⇄2 HCO

This balance plays an important role when calcium ions are present in the water, for example in drinking water. Under normal conditions, hydrogen carbonate is present in water and calcium hydrogen carbonate is readily soluble.

However, when the water is heated, dissolved carbon dioxide escapes, shifting the equilibrium to the left. However, calcium carbonate is difficult to dissolve and then precipitates as a so-called boiler scale. This is the carbonate hardness of the water.

Carbon dioxide absorbed from the air means that the rain has a pH of around 5.5 even without other “acidic” gases. When this rainwater penetrates limestone in the mountains, soluble calcium hydrogen carbonate is formed.

How many electrons are in carbon?

Entering a stalactite cave, one is impressed by the variety of shapes of the formations. The stalactites in the caves were created by the very slow dissolution and precipitation of limestone. Carbon dioxide is dissolved in the air in rainwater. This produces a small amount of carbonic acid. When the weakly acidic rainwater seeps through porous limestone, easily soluble calcium bicarbonate is formed.

CaCO3+ CO2+ H2O⇄Approx2++ 2HCO-3

When the water from the drop hanging on the ceiling of a cave evaporates again, the poorly soluble calcium carbonate forms back in the form of the hanging stalactites. If the water evaporates from the drip point on the ground, the stalagmites grow upwards.

Carbonates are used technically on a large scale, calcium carbonate, among other things, as an additive in the blast furnace process, for the production of burnt lime (CaO) for the building materials industry, and for the production of cement and glass. Sodium carbonate is also needed to make glass. Various metals (iron, and zinc) occur as ores in the form of carbonates and are extracted from them.

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