Carbon has four valence electrons. How many hydrogen atoms can bond to a single carbon atom?

1 Answer
Jul 30, 2016


Possibly you cooked your dinner with methane gas, i.e. #CH_4#. Thus 4 hydrogen atoms bind to carbon.


Methane is the simplest alkane, which burns very cleanly:

#CH_4(g) + 2O_2(g) rarr CO_2(g) + 2H_2O(l) + Delta#

Even given our voracious appetite for combustible carbon, there are still vast reserves of methane gas available. The challenge for engineers and chemists is to extract in a controlled and sustainable fashion.