What is the Valency of Carbon?

By Shiwani Kumari|Updated : July 25th, 2022

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.

Summary: 

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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