What is the Valency of Carbon?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

The valency of carbon is 4. Four (4) electrons are needed in the outermost valence shell. It has 6 electrons and is the 6th element in the periodic table. Thus, 2 electrons are present in K shell while 4 are in L shell. One atom of carbon make four (4) covalent bonds. Valency of carbon is the combining power with Hydrogen. Thus, Carbon is tetravalent.

Valency of Carbon

  • Valency is defined as the number of electrons lost, obtained or exchanged during a chemical reaction. It is the combining capacity of an element with Hydrogen.
  • Valence Electrons are the electrons that are found in the outermost shell of an atom.
  • The number of electrons in Carbon’s outermost shell is 4. Thus, to achieve noble gas configuration, carbon will make four bonds with hydrogen.
  • Hence, the valency of Carbon is 4, which means it is tetravalent.
  • As it is tetravalent, therefore, it will show extensive catenation due its tetravalency and small size, thus, forming multiple strong bonds with other elements, especially hydrogen.
  • The hardest naturally occurring substance is Diamond which is an allotrope of Carbon. This is possible only due to the tetravalency of carbon.


What is the Valency of Carbon?

The valency of the carbon is 4. So, 4 electrons are present in the L shell. Since its valency is 4, therefore, it is tetravalent and is capable of making multiple strong bonds with its small size. Losing or gaining 4 electrons is not possible due to energy considerations in carbon.

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