Compounds of carbon

Compounds of carbon are defined as chemical substances containing carbon.[1][2] More compounds of carbon exist than any other chemical element except for hydrogen. Organic carbon compounds are far more numerous than inorganic carbon compounds. In general bonds of carbon with other elements are covalent bonds. Carbon is tetravalent but carbon free radicals and carbenes occur as short-lived intermediates. Ions of carbon are carbocations and carbanions are also short-lived. An important carbon property is catenation as the ability to form long carbon chains and rings.[3]

Allotropes of carbon

The known inorganic chemistry of the allotropes of carbon (diamond, graphite, and the fullerenes) blossomed with the discovery of buckminsterfullerene in 1985, as additional fullerenes and their various derivatives were discovered. One such class of derivatives is inclusion compounds, in which an ion is enclosed by the all-carbon shell of the fullerene. This inclusion is denoted by the "@" symbol in endohedral fullerenes. For example, an ion consisting of a lithium ion trapped within buckminsterfullerene would be denoted Li+@C60. As with any other ionic compound, this complex ion could in principle pair with a counterion to form a salt. Other elements are also incorporated in so-called graphite intercalation compounds.


Carbides are binary compounds of carbon with an element that is less electronegative than it. The most important are Al4C3, B4C, CaC2, Fe3C, HfC, SiC, TaC, TiC, and WC.

Organic compounds

It was once thought that organic compounds could only be created by living organisms. Over time, however, scientists learned how to synthesize organic compounds in the lab. The number of organic compounds is immense and the known number of defined compounds is close to 10 million.[4] However, an indefinitely large number of such compounds are theoretically possible. By definition, an organic compound must contain at least one atom of carbon, but this criterion is not generally regarded as sufficient. Indeed, the distinction between organic and inorganic compounds is ultimately a matter of convention, and there are several compounds that have been classified either way, such as: COCl2, CSCl2, CS(NH2)2, CO(NH2)2. With carbon bonded to metals the field of organic chemistry crosses over into organometallic chemistry.

Inorganic compounds

There is a rich variety of carbon chemistry that does not fall within the realm of organic chemistry and is thus called inorganic carbon chemistry.

Carbon-oxygen compounds

There are many oxides of carbon (oxocarbons), of which the most common are carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). Other less known oxides include carbon suboxide (C3O2) and mellitic anhydride (C12O9). There are also numerous unstable or elusive oxides, such as dicarbon monoxide (C2O), oxalic anhydride (C2O4), and carbon trioxide (CO3).

There are several oxocarbon anions, negative ions that consist solely of oxygen and carbon. The most common are the carbonate (CO32−) and oxalate (C2O42−). The corresponding acids are the highly unstable carbonic acid (H2CO3) and the quite stable oxalic acid (H2C2O4), respectively. These anions can be partially deprotonated to give the bicarbonate (HCO3) and hydrogenoxalate (HC2O4). Other more exotic carbon–oxygen anions exist, such as acetylenedicarboxylate (O2C–C≡C–CO22−), mellitate (C12O96−), squarate (C4O42−), and rhodizonate (C6O62−). The anhydrides of some of these acids are oxides of carbon; carbon dioxide, for instance, can be seen as the anhydride of carbonic acid.

Some important carbonates are Ag2CO3, BaCO3, CaCO3, CdCO3, Ce2(CO3)3, CoCO3, Cs2CO3, CuCO3, FeCO3, K2CO3, La2(CO3)3, Li2CO3, MgCO3, MnCO3, (NH4)2CO3, Na2CO3, NiCO3, PbCO3, SrCO3, and ZnCO3.

The most important bicarbonates include NH4HCO3, Ca(HCO3)2, KHCO3, and NaHCO3.

The most important oxalates include Ag2C2O4, BaC2O4, CaC2O4, Ce2(C2O4)3, K2C2O4, and Na2C2O4.

Carbonyls are coordination complexes between transition metals and carbonyl ligands. Metal carbonyls are complexes that are formed with the neutral ligand CO. These complexes are covalent. Here is a list of some carbonyls: Cr(CO)6, Co2(CO)8, Fe(CO)5, Mn2(CO)10, Mo(CO)6, Ni(CO)4, W(CO)6.

Carbon-sulfur compounds

Important inorganic carbon-sulfur compounds are the carbon sulfides carbon disulfide (CS2) and carbonyl sulfide (OCS). Carbon monosulfide (CS) unlike carbon monoxide is very unstable. Important compound classes are thiocarbonates, thiocarbamates, dithiocarbamates and trithiocarbonates.

carbon monosulfide carbon disulfide carbonyl sulfide
Inorganic carbon-sulfur compounds

Carbon-nitrogen compounds

Small inorganic carbon – nitrogen compounds are cyanogen, hydrogen cyanide, cyanamide, isocyanic acid and cyanogen chloride.

composition Molar mass (g/mole) Boiling point °C Melting point °C
cyanogen (CN)2 Cyanogen 52.03 −21 −28
hydrogen cyanide HCN Hydrogen-cyanide 27.03 25–26 −12 – -14
cyanamide CN2H2 Cyanamide 42.04 260 (decomp.) 44
isocyanic acid HNCO isocyanic acid 43.03 23.5 −86
cyanogen chloride CNCl cyanogen chloride 61.47 13 −6
chlorosulfonyl isocyanate CNClO3S Chlorosulfonyl isocyanate 141.53 107 −44
cyanuric chloride (NCCl)3 cyanuric chloride 184.41 192 154
Inorganic carbon-nitrogen compounds

Paracyanogen is the polymerization product of cyanogen. Cyanuric chloride is the trimer of cyanogen chloride and 2-cyanoguanidine is the dimer of cyanamide.

Other types of inorganic compounds include the inorganic salts and complexes of the carbon-containing cyanide, cyanate, fulminate, thiocyanate and cyanamide ions. Examples of cyanides are copper cyanide (CuCN) and potassium cyanide (KCN), examples of cyanates are potassium cyanate (KNCO) and silver cyanate (AgNCO), examples of fulminates are silver fulminate (AgOCN) and mercury fulminate (HgOCN) and an example of a thiocyanate is potassium thiocyanate (KSCN).

Carbon halides

The common carbon halides are carbon tetrafluoride (CF4), carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), carbon tetrabromide (CBr4), carbon tetraiodide (CI4), and a large number of other carbon-halogen compounds.


A carborane is a cluster composed of boron and carbon atoms such as H2C2B10H10....


There are hundreds of alloys that contain carbon. The most common of these alloys is steel, sometimes called "carbon steel" (see Category:Steels). All kinds of steel contain some amount of carbon, by definition, and all ferrous alloys contain some carbon.

Some other common alloys that are based on iron and carbon include anthracite iron, cast iron, pig iron, and wrought iron.

In more technical uses, there are also spiegeleisen, an alloy of iron, manganese, and carbon; and stellite, an alloy of cobalt, chromium, tungsten, and carbon.

Whether it was placed there deliberately or not, some traces of carbon is also found in these common metals and their alloys: aluminum, chromium, magnesium, molybdenum, niobium, thorium, titanium, tungsten, uranium, vanadium, zinc, and zirconium. For example, many of these metals are smelted with coke, a form of carbon; and aluminum and magnesium are made in electrolytic cells with carbon electrodes. Some distribution of carbon into all of these metals is inevitable.


  1. ^ Organic Chemistry by Abraham William Simpson
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry Bruce King Ed. Second Edition
  3. ^ Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Cotton, F. Albert / Wilkinson, Geoffrey
  4. ^ Chemistry Operations (December 15, 2003). "Carbon". Los Alamos National Laboratory. Retrieved 2007-11-21.


1825 in science

The year 1825 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.

1825 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1825 in the United Kingdom.


In organic chemistry, aromaticity is a property of cyclic (ring-shaped), planar (flat) structures with a ring of resonance bonds that gives increased stability compared to other geometric or connective arrangements with the same set of atoms. Aromatic molecules are very stable, and do not break apart easily to react with other substances. Organic compounds that are not aromatic are classified as aliphatic compounds—they might be cyclic, but only aromatic rings have special stability (low reactivity).

Since the most common aromatic compounds are derivatives of benzene (an aromatic hydrocarbon common in petroleum and its distillates), the word aromatic occasionally refers informally to benzene derivatives, and so it was first defined. Nevertheless, many non-benzene aromatic compounds exist. In living organisms, for example, the most common aromatic rings are the double-ringed bases in RNA and DNA. An aromatic functional group or other substituent is called an aryl group.

The earliest use of the term aromatic was in an article by August Wilhelm Hofmann in 1855. Hofmann used the term for a class of benzene compounds, many of which have odors (aromas), unlike pure saturated hydrocarbons. Aromaticity as a chemical property bears no general relationship with the olfactory properties of such compounds (how they smell), although in 1855, before the structure of benzene or organic compounds was understood, chemists like Hofmann were beginning to understand that odiferous molecules from plants, such as terpenes, had chemical properties that we recognize today are similar to unsaturated petroleum hydrocarbons like benzene.

In terms of the electronic nature of the molecule, aromaticity describes a conjugated system often made of alternating single and double bonds in a ring. This configuration allows for the electrons in the molecule's pi system to be delocalized around the ring, increasing the molecule's stability. The molecule cannot be represented by one structure, but rather a resonance hybrid of different structures, such as with the two resonance structures of benzene. These molecules cannot be found in either one of these representations, with the longer single bonds in one location and the shorter double bond in another (see Theory below). Rather, the molecule exhibits bond lengths in between those of single and double bonds. This commonly seen model of aromatic rings, namely the idea that benzene was formed from a six-membered carbon ring with alternating single and double bonds (cyclohexatriene), was developed by August Kekulé (see History below). The model for benzene consists of two resonance forms, which corresponds to the double and single bonds superimposing to produce six one-and-a-half bonds. Benzene is a more stable molecule than would be expected without accounting for charge delocalization.


Benzene is an organic chemical compound with the chemical formula C6H6. The benzene molecule is composed of six carbon atoms joined in a ring with one hydrogen atom attached to each. As it contains only carbon and hydrogen atoms, benzene is classed as a hydrocarbon.

Benzene is a natural constituent of crude oil and is one of the elementary petrochemicals. Due to the cyclic continuous pi bond between the carbon atoms, benzene is classed as an aromatic hydrocarbon, the second [n]-annulene ([6]-annulene). It is sometimes abbreviated PhH. Benzene is a colorless and highly flammable liquid with a sweet smell, and is responsible for the aroma around petrol (gas) stations. It is used primarily as a precursor to the manufacture of chemicals with more complex structure, such as ethylbenzene and cumene, of which billions of kilograms are produced annually. As benzene has a high octane number, aromatic derivatives like toluene and xylene typically comprise up to 25% of gasoline (petrol). Benzene itself has been limited to less than 1% in gasoline because it is a known human carcinogen. Most non-industrial applications have been limited as well for the same reason.


In chemistry, a carbide is a compound composed of carbon and a less electronegative element. Carbides can be generally classified by the chemical bonds type as follows: (i) salt-like, (ii) covalent compounds, (iii) interstitial compounds, and (iv) "intermediate" transition metal carbides. Examples include calcium carbide (CaC2), silicon carbide (SiC), tungsten carbide (WC; often called, simply, carbide when referring to machine tooling), and cementite (Fe3C), each used in key industrial applications. The naming of ionic carbides is not systematic.


Carbon (from Latin: carbo "coal") is a chemical element with the symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Three isotopes occur naturally, 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is a radionuclide, decaying with a half-life of about 5,730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity.Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth's crust, and the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen. Carbon's abundance, its unique diversity of organic compounds, and its unusual ability to form polymers at the temperatures commonly encountered on Earth enables this element to serve as a common element of all known life. It is the second most abundant element in the human body by mass (about 18.5%) after oxygen.The atoms of carbon can bond together in different ways, termed allotropes of carbon. The best known are graphite, diamond, and amorphous carbon. The physical properties of carbon vary widely with the allotropic form. For example, graphite is opaque and black while diamond is highly transparent. Graphite is soft enough to form a streak on paper (hence its name, from the Greek verb "γράφειν" which means "to write"), while diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material known. Graphite is a good electrical conductor while diamond has a low electrical conductivity. Under normal conditions, diamond, carbon nanotubes, and graphene have the highest thermal conductivities of all known materials. All carbon allotropes are solids under normal conditions, with graphite being the most thermodynamically stable form at standard temperature and pressure. They are chemically resistant and require high temperature to react even with oxygen.

The most common oxidation state of carbon in inorganic compounds is +4, while +2 is found in carbon monoxide and transition metal carbonyl complexes. The largest sources of inorganic carbon are limestones, dolomites and carbon dioxide, but significant quantities occur in organic deposits of coal, peat, oil, and methane clathrates. Carbon forms a vast number of compounds, more than any other element, with almost ten million compounds described to date, and yet that number is but a fraction of the number of theoretically possible compounds under standard conditions. For this reason, carbon has often been referred to as the "king of the elements".

Carbon nitride

Carbon nitrides are compounds of carbon and nitrogen.

Carbon suboxide

Carbon suboxide, or tricarbon dioxide, is an oxide of carbon with chemical formula C3O2 or O=C=C=C=O. Its four cumulative double bonds make it a cumulene. It is one of the stable members of the series of linear oxocarbons O=Cn=O, which also includes carbon dioxide (CO2) and pentacarbon dioxide (C5O2). Although if carefully purified it can exist at room temperature in the dark without decomposing, it will polymerize under certain conditions.

The substance was discovered in 1873 by Benjamin Brodie by subjecting carbon monoxide to an electric current. He claimed that the product was part of a series of "oxycarbons" with formulas Cx+1Ox, namely C2O, C3O2, C4O3, C5O4, ..., and to have identified the last two; however only C3O2 is known. In 1891 Marcellin Berthelot observed that heating pure carbon monoxide at about 550 °C created small amounts of carbon dioxide but no trace of carbon, and assumed that a carbon-rich oxide was created instead, which he named "sub-oxide". He assumed it was the same product obtained by electric discharge and proposed the formula C2O. Otto Diels later stated that the more organic names dicarbonylmethane and dioxallene were also correct.

It is commonly described as an oily liquid or gas at room temperature with an extremely noxious odor.

Carbon tax

A carbon tax is a tax levied on the carbon content of fuels (transport & energy sector) and, like carbon emissions trading, is a form of carbon pricing. The term carbon tax is also used to refer to a carbon dioxide equivalent tax, the latter of which is quite similar but can be placed on any type of greenhouse gas or combination of greenhouse gases, emitted by any economic sector.As of 2018 at least 27 countries and subnational units have implemented carbon taxes. Research shows that carbon taxes effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Economists generally argue that carbon taxes are the most efficient and effective way to curb climate change, with the least adverse effects on the economy.When a hydrocarbon fuel such as coal, petroleum, or natural gas is burnt, its carbon is converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) and other compounds of carbon. CO2 is a heat-trapping greenhouse gas which causes global warming, which damages the environment and human health. Since greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels are closely related to the carbon content of the respective fuels, this negative externality can be compensated for by taxing the carbon content of fossil fuels at any point in the product cycle of the fuel.Carbon taxes offer a potentially cost-effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

From an economic perspective, carbon taxes are a type of Pigovian tax and help to address the problem of emitters of greenhouse gases not facing the full social cost of their actions. To prevent them being regressive taxes carbon tax revenues can be spent on low-income groups.

Chanel No. 5

Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume launched by French couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The scent formula for the fragrance was compounded by French-Russian chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux. The design of its bottle has been an important part of the product's allure.


Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is a chemical compound, a simple alcohol with the chemical formula C2H6O. Its formula can be also written as CH3−CH2−OH or C2H5OH (an ethyl group linked to a hydroxyl group), and is often abbreviated as EtOH. Ethanol is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid with a slight characteristic odor. It is a psychoactive substance and is the principal active ingredient found in alcoholic drinks.

Ethanol is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or via petrochemical processes, and is commonly consumed as a popular recreational drug. It also has medical applications as an antiseptic and disinfectant. The compound is widely used as a chemical solvent, either for scientific chemical testing or in synthesis of other organic compounds, and is a vital substance used across many different kinds of manufacturing industries. Ethanol is also used as a clean-burning fuel source.

Harold Urey

Harold Clayton Urey (April 29, 1893 – January 5, 1981) was an American physical chemist whose pioneering work on isotopes earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1934 for the discovery of deuterium. He played a significant role in the development of the atom bomb, as well as contributing to theories on the development of organic life from non-living matter.Born in Walkerton, Indiana, Urey studied thermodynamics under Gilbert N. Lewis at the University of California. After he received his PhD in 1923, he was awarded a fellowship by the American-Scandinavian Foundation to study at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. He was a research associate at Johns Hopkins University before becoming an associate professor of Chemistry at Columbia University. In 1931, he began work with the separation of isotopes that resulted in the discovery of deuterium.

During World War II, Urey turned his knowledge of isotope separation to the problem of uranium enrichment. He headed the group located at Columbia University that developed isotope separation using gaseous diffusion. The method was successfully developed, becoming the sole method used in the early post-war period. After the war, Urey became professor of chemistry at the Institute for Nuclear Studies, and later Ryerson professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago.

Urey speculated that the early terrestrial atmosphere was composed of ammonia, methane, and hydrogen. One of his Chicago graduate students was Stanley L. Miller, who showed in the Miller–Urey experiment that, if such a mixture were exposed to electric sparks and water, it can interact to produce amino acids, commonly considered the building blocks of life. Work with isotopes of oxygen led to pioneering the new field of paleoclimatic research. In 1958, he accepted a post as a professor at large at the new University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where he helped create the science faculty. He was one of the founding members of UCSD's school of chemistry, which was created in 1960. He became increasingly interested in space science, and when Apollo 11 returned moon rock samples from the moon, Urey examined them at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. Lunar astronaut Harrison Schmitt said that Urey approached him as a volunteer for a one-way mission to the Moon, stating "I will go, and I don't care if I don't come back."

James Crafts

James Mason Crafts (March 8, 1839 – June 20, 1917) was an American chemist, mostly known for developing the Friedel-Crafts alkylation and acylation reactions with Charles Friedel in 1876.

Magnesium monohydride

Magnesium monohydride is a molecular gas with formula MgH that exists at high temperatures, such as the atmospheres of the Sun and stars. It was originally known as magnesium hydride, although that name is now more commonly used when referring to the similar chemical magnesium dihydride.


Organosilicon compounds are organometallic compounds containing carbon–silicon bonds. Organosilicon chemistry is the corresponding science of their preparation and properties. Most organosilicon compounds are similar to the ordinary organic compounds, being colourless, flammable, hydrophobic, and stable to air. Silicon carbide is an inorganic compound.


Palynology is literally the "study of dust" (from Greek: παλύνω, translit. palunō, "strew, sprinkle" and -logy) or of "particles that are strewn". A classic palynologist analyses particulate samples collected from the air, from water, or from deposits including sediments of any age. The condition and identification of those particles, organic and inorganic, give the palynologist clues to the life, environment, and energetic conditions that produced them.

The term is commonly used to refer to a subset of the discipline, which is defined as "the study of microscopic objects of macromolecular organic composition (i.e., compounds of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen), not capable of dissolution in hydrochloric or hydrofluoric acids".

It is the science that studies contemporary and fossil palynomorphs, including pollen, spores, orbicules, dinocysts, acritarchs, chitinozoans and scolecodonts, together with particulate organic matter (POM) and kerogen found in sedimentary rocks and sediments. Palynology does not include diatoms, foraminiferans or other organisms with siliceous or calcareous exoskeletons.


Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas, and plasma). In solids, particles are closely packed. It is characterized by structural rigidity and resistance to changes of shape or volume. Unlike a liquid, a solid object does not flow to take on the shape of its container, nor does it expand to fill the entire volume available to it like a gas does. The atoms in a solid are tightly bound to each other, either in a regular geometric lattice (crystalline solids, which include metals and ordinary ice) or irregularly (an amorphous solid such as common window glass), and are typically low in energy. Solids cannot be compressed with little pressure whereas gases can be compressed with little pressure because in gases molecules are loosely packed.

The branch of physics that deals with solids is called solid-state physics, and is the main branch of condensed matter physics (which also includes liquids). Materials science is primarily concerned with the physical and chemical properties of solids. Solid-state chemistry is especially concerned with the synthesis of novel materials, as well as the science of identification and chemical composition.

Swan band

Swan bands are a characteristic of the spectra of carbon stars, comets and of burning hydrocarbon fuels. They are named for the Scottish physicist William Swan, who first studied the spectral analysis of radical diatomic carbon (C2) in 1856.Swan bands consist of several sequences of vibrational bands scattered throughout the visible spectrum.

Titan (moon)

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and the second-largest natural satellite in the Solar System. It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only known body in space, other than Earth, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.

Titan is the sixth gravitationally rounded moon from Saturn. Frequently described as a planet-like moon, Titan is 50% larger than Earth's moon and 80% more massive. It is the second-largest moon in the Solar System after Jupiter's moon Ganymede, and is larger than the planet Mercury, but only 40% as massive. Discovered in 1655 by the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, Titan was the first known moon of Saturn, and the sixth known planetary satellite (after Earth's moon and the four Galilean moons of Jupiter). Titan orbits Saturn at 20 Saturn radii. From Titan's surface, Saturn subtends an arc of 5.09 degrees and would appear 11.4 times larger in the sky than the Moon from Earth.

Titan is primarily composed of ice and rocky material, which is likely differentiated into a rocky core surrounded by various layers of ice, including a crust of ice Ih and a subsurface layer of ammonia-rich liquid water. Much as with Venus before the Space Age, the dense opaque atmosphere prevented understanding of Titan's surface until the Cassini–Huygens mission in 2004 provided new information, including the discovery of liquid hydrocarbon lakes in Titan's polar regions. The geologically young surface is generally smooth, with few impact craters, although mountains and several possible cryovolcanoes have been found.

The atmosphere of Titan is largely nitrogen; minor components lead to the formation of methane and ethane clouds and nitrogen-rich organic smog. The climate—including wind and rain—creates surface features similar to those of Earth, such as dunes, rivers, lakes, seas (probably of liquid methane and ethane), and deltas, and is dominated by seasonal weather patterns as on Earth. With its liquids (both surface and subsurface) and robust nitrogen atmosphere, Titan's methane cycle is analogous to Earth's water cycle, at the much lower temperature of about 94 K (−179.2 °C; −290.5 °F).

Carbon ions
Oxides and related
Compounds of carbon with other elements in the periodic table


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