Number of Carbon Bonds
Date: June 2007
How many bonds can carbon form with other elements?
In general, up to four. If it forms fewer bonds, the "dangling bonds"
will combine with others if they have the chance.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Wyoming
Carbon almost always forms 4 bonds to other elements, for example CH4.
However, carbon can form multiple bonds with other elements, for example
carbon dioxide (CO2) or carbon monoxide (CO), or even more weird
carbon suboxide OCCCO. Carbon also forms multiple bonds with itself, for
example H2C=CH2 (ethylene). So like most "rules" in chemistry, one can
usually find exceptions to the general rules.
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Update: June 2012