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Name: Sharae
Status: student
Location: WA
Country: N/A
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.

Richard Barrans
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.

Vince Calder

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