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10 Questions You Should to Know about carbon t

Author: Hou

Nov. 28, 2023

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When we think about the term ‘carbon’, many of us might think of the gas and the charcoal type material that is left after something has burned. But carbon is so much more. In fact, carbon is the fourth most abundant element in our world, which helps to answer the common question: Why is a lump of coal made out of the same material as a shiny diamond? Even humans are made of carbon.

Carbon belongs to group 14 on the periodic table and has an atomic number of 6, symbolised by the letter ‘C’ (the chemical symbol).

Here are some interesting facts about this amazing element, which you may not have already known:

“IT’S THE GLUE OF LIFE”

Carbon can be found in organic material, including the DNA, proteins, and other areas of the human body. Some say that water is the key to life on our planet, and whilst this is partially true (as most life on earth cannot survive without water!), carbon is also an essential tool for bonding the atoms together. Carbon is present in all living matter such as animals, humans and plants and also in rocks. However, carbon only makes up 0.025% of the Earth’s crust (according to science).

CARBON IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON ELEMENTS IN THE UNIVERSE

Sitting between Boron and Nitrogen on the periodic table, it is easy to quickly understand the significance of this well-known element (Nitrogen is the most common gas in our atmosphere and Boron is also a nutrient for the human body). The structure consists of six protons, six neutrons, and six electrons. Whilst its relative’s hydrogen and helium are believed to have been formed during the turbulence of the ‘Big Bang’, carbon is believed to have emanated from an accumulation of alpha particles in supernova explosions.

CARBON IS NAMED AFTER COAL

While we’ve known carbon as coal and soot (after combustion) for thousands of years, in 1772 Antoine Lavoisier demonstrated that it has a unique chemical structure. He used a solar furnace, to burn a diamond in a glass jar and then by examining resultant residue, he was able to show that diamond consisted exclusively of carbon.

CARBON LOVES TO BOND

Carbon can establish four bonds, which it does with many other elements, creating a multitude of compounds, most of which we encounter regularly, including plastics, medications, and fuels. Crucially these structures are both robust and adaptable.

ALMOST A FIFTH OF YOUR BODY IS CARBON

Carbon makes up all life forms, and there is a huge variety in the substances that it makes, such as fats and sugars. All living things are constructed on a foundation of carbon. The human body consists of nearly 19% carbon (by weight). It can also be inorganic, it combines with oxygen and other substances to make up sizable parts of the non-living world, like rocks and minerals. The newest member of the carbon family is graphene, which was discovered by chance in 2004 by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov. This new material is extremely thin and resilient, it also earned its discoverers a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.

DIAMONDS AREN'T CALLED "ICE" BECAUSE OF THEIR LOOK

Diamonds are called "ice" due to their capacity to carry heat whilst remaining cool to the touch and not because of the way they look.
This makes them suitable for use as heat sinks in microchips, however, in most cases synthetic diamonds are deployed. The three-dimensional lattice structure of diamonds converts heat into lattice vibrations, which gives diamonds a high thermal conductivity.

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Carbon and its Compounds Questions

Carbon is the sixth element of the periodic table. It is a tetravalent atom, i.e. it tends to form four covalent bonds with the other atoms. It also exhibits catenation, i.e. it combines with another carbon atom to form relatively stable covalent bonds. It shares multiple electrons and possesses multiple bond orders enabling it to form double and triple bonds.

Carbon and its Compounds Chemistry Questions with Solutions

Q1. Which of the following organic compound has a triple bond?

  1. C3H2
  2. C3H4
  3. C3H6
  4. C3H8

Answer: (b), C3H4 has a triple bond.

Q2. Diamond is an insulator because of

  1. It is tough
  2. It has no free electrons to conduct electric current
  3. It is not soluble in water
  4. Its structure is very consolidated.

Answer: (b) Diamond is an insulator because it has no free electrons to conduct electric current.

Q3. How many covalent bonds are there in a molecule of ethane (C2H6)?

  1. Four
  2. Five
  3. Two
  4. Seven

Answer: (d), There are seven covalent bonds in ethane.

Structure of ethane:

Q4. Which of the following oxidising agents convert ethanol to ethanoic acid?

  1. Alkaline potassium permanganate or Acidified potassium dichromate
  2. Lithium aluminium hydride or Sodium borohydride
  3. Ozone or Hydrogen peroxide
  4. Nitric acid (HNO3) or nitrate compounds

Answer: (a), Alkaline potassium permanganate or Acidified potassium dichromate is used to convert ethanol to ethanoic acid.

Q5. Which of the following functional group is present in CH3COOH organic compound.

  1. Alcohol
  2. Aldehyde
  3. Ketone
  4. Carboxylic acid

Answer: (d), Carboxylic acid functional group is present in CH3COOH organic compound.

Q6. Name the gas that will evolve when ethanoic acid is added to sodium carbonate. How would you prove the presence of this gas?

Answer: The gas that will evolve when ethanoic acid is added to sodium carbonate is carbon dioxide. We can detect the presence of carbon dioxide by passing it into lime water. If the lime water turns milky, it confirms the presence of carbon dioxide.

The reaction is given below

2CH3COOH + Na2CO3 → 2CH3COONa + CO2 + H2O

Ca(OH)2 (Lime Water) + CO2 → CaCO3 (Milky precipitate) + H2O

Q7. Draw electron dot structure of carbonate ion CO32-.

Answer:

Q8. Why does carbon forms a large number of compounds?

Answer: Carbon forms multiple compounds for the following reasons:

  • A carbon atom has tetra valency, i.e. carbon atom can form four covalent bonds with the other atoms.
  • It has catenation, i.e. two carbon atoms can readily form covalent bonds, which are relatively more stable.
  • It has varying bond order and hybridisation. That is, it can form double or triple bonds.
  • It shares multiple electrons to form a double or triple bond.

Q9. Differentiate between saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons.

Answer:

S. No. Saturated Compounds Unsaturated Compounds 1. Saturated hydrocarbons contain only single covalent bonds between carbon atoms. Unsaturated hydrocarbons have at least one double or triple bond between carbon atoms. 2. They have less amount of carbon and more amount of hydrogen. They have a high amount of carbon and less amount of hydrogen. 3. They are less reactive. They are more reactive. 4. On burning, they give a blue and non-sooty flame. On burning, they give a yellow and sooty flame. 5. They are typically obtained from fossilised plant and animal materials. They are usually obtained from plants. 6. Examples: Alkanes and Cycloalkanes. Examples: Alkenes, Alkynes and Aromatic Hydrocarbons.

Q10. Why do covalent compounds have low melting and boiling points?

Answer: Covalent compounds have a weak force of attraction between the molecules. Thus, little energy is required to break the strength of bonding. Therefore covalent compounds have low melting and boiling point.

Q11. Differentiate between soap and detergent.

Answer:

S. No. Soap Detergent 1. Soaps are the sodium or potassium salts of long-chain fatty acids. Detergents are the sodium salts of long-chain alkyl hydrogen sulphate or a long chain of benzene sulphonic acid. 2. Soaps are biodegradable. Detergents contain a branched hydrocarbon chain. Thus, they are non-biodegradable 3. They are originated from natural sources such as vegetable oils and animal fats. They are formed in laboratories artificially. 4. They are not effective in hard and saline water. They are effective in hard and saline water. 5. They form scum in hard water. They don’t form scum in hard water. 6. Examples: Sodium Palmitate and Sodium Stearate. Examples: Deoxycholic acid and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

Q12. What is an esterification reaction? Mention any one application of esterification reaction.

Answer: Esterification reaction is used to prepare ester. It is a reaction between a carboxylic acid and an alcohol in the presence of a mineral acid catalyst like sulphuric acid.

RCOOH + R’OH ⇋ RCOOR’ + H2O

It is a reversible reaction.

Uses of esterification reaction:

Esters prepared from the esterification reaction are used as synthetic flavours in ice cream and sweets.

Q13. Distinguish between esterification and saponification reactions.

Answer:

S. No. Esterification Reaction Saponification Reaction 1. The esterification reaction is used to prepare ester. The saponification reaction is used to prepare soap. 2. It is a reaction between a carboxylic acid and an alcohol in the presence of a mineral acid catalyst like sulphuric acid to form an ester. It is a de-esterification reaction in an ester to form a carboxylic acid and an alcohol in a mineral acid catalyst like sulphuric acid or sodium hydroxide. 3. In the esterification reaction, the end products are ester and water. In the saponification reaction, the end products are carboxylate ions and alcohol. 4. It can take place in both acidic and basic mediums. It occurs only in an alkaline medium. 5. It requires heat. It does not require heat.

Q14. Give a chemical test to distinguish between saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons.

Answer: The bromine water test distinguishes between saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. No change will occur if a saturated hydrocarbon is added to bromine water. However, if an unsaturated hydrocarbon is added to bromine water, it will decolourise.

Saturated hydrocarbon + Br₂ → No Reaction: no colour change

Unsaturated hydrocarbon + Br₂ → Reaction will occur: Decolourise

Q15. What is a homologous series?

Answer: A homologous series is a series of carbon and compounds with various numbers of carbon atoms but have an identical functional group. For example, methene, ethene, propene, butene and pentene are all part of the homologous alkene series.

Practise Questions on Carbon and its Compounds

Q1. Name two allotropes of carbon.

Q2. What is denatured alcohol?

Q3. What is the role of concentrated sulphuric acid in the esterification reaction?

Q4. Give a chemical test to distinguish between

  1. Ethene and Ethane
  2. Ethanol and Ethanoic acid

Q5. Define fermentation. Name the enzyme which converts

  1. Milk to curd (yoghurt),
  2. Cane sugar to glucose and fructose
  3. Glucose to ethanol.

Click the PDF to check the answers for Practice Questions.
Download PDF

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10 Questions You Should to Know about carbon t

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