# What is the number of valence electrons in carbon?

Aug 8, 2016

There are 4 valance electrons in Carbon.

#### Explanation:

Carbon has six electrons in its neutral state.

6 electrons - 2 electrons in the first energy level = 4 valance electrons

Valance electrons are the electrons in the outermost energy level.

The first two electrons go into the 1 s orbital the lowest energy state.
which fills the first energy level. These two electrons will not be valance electrons.

The next two electrons go into the 2 s orbital the lowest energy level in the second valance shell. These are valance electrons.

The next two electrons go into the 2 p orbital the highest energy level in the second valance. These are valance electrons.

Often Carbon will hybridize the four valance electrons into 4 equal new orbitals 4 sp3 orbitals. In the hybridized state carbon can form four bonds such as CO2

In the lowest energy state or ground state Carbon can form 2 bonds using only the 2 p orbitals, such as CO