Explain why carbon is essential for lifeDescribe the role of functional groups in biological molecules

Cells room made the many complex molecules called macromolecules, such together proteins, nucleic acids (RNA and DNA), carbohydrates, and also lipids. The macromolecules space a subset of organic molecules (any carbon-containing liquid, solid, or gas) the are especially important because that life. The fundamental component for all of these macromolecules is carbon. The carbon atom has distinctive properties that allow it to form covalent bonds to as numerous as four different atoms, make this versatile aspect ideal to serve as the straightforward structural component, or “backbone,” that the macromolecules.

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Individual carbon atoms have an incomplete outermost electron shell. With an atomic variety of 6 (six electrons and also six protons), the first two electrons to fill the inside shell, leaving four in the 2nd shell. Therefore, carbon atoms can kind up to 4 covalent bond with other atoms to accomplish the octet rule. The methane molecule provides an example: it has actually the chemistry formula CH4. Every of its four hydrogen atoms develops a solitary covalent bond v the carbon atom by share a pair of electrons. This outcomes in a to fill outermost shell.


Hydrocarbons room organic molecule consisting completely of carbon and hydrogen, such as methane (CH4) explained above. We frequently use hydrocarbons in our day-to-day lives as fuels—like the propane in a gas grill or the butane in a lighter. The numerous covalent bonds between the atom in hydrocarbons store a good amount that energy, i beg your pardon is released once these molecule are shed (oxidized). Methane, wonderful fuel, is the most basic hydrocarbon molecule, with a main carbon atom external inspection to four different hydrogen atoms, as illustrated in . The geometry the the methane molecule, where the atoms reside in three dimensions, is identified by the form of its electron orbitals. The carbons and the four hydrogen atoms type a shape well-known as a tetrahedron, with four triangular faces; because that this reason, methane is described as having actually tetrahedral geometry.

Methane has a tetrahedral geometry, v each the the four hydrogen atoms spaced 109.5° apart.

Hydrocarbon Rings

So far, the hydrocarbons we have questioned have to be aliphatic hydrocarbons, i beg your pardon consist of straight chains the carbon atoms. Another type of hydrocarbon, fragrant hydrocarbons, consists of closed ring of carbon atoms. Ring structures are discovered in hydrocarbons, occasionally with the visibility of dual bonds, which have the right to be viewed by compare the framework of cyclohexane to benzene in . Examples of organic molecules that incorporate the benzene ring include some amino acids and cholesterol and its derivatives, including the hormones estrogen and also testosterone. The benzene ring is likewise found in the herbicide 2,4-D. Benzene is a herbal component of crude oil oil and also has to be classified as a carcinogen. Some hydrocarbons have both aliphatic and aromatic portions; beta-carotene is an instance of together a hydrocarbon.

Carbon can type five-and six membered rings. Single or double bonds may attach the carbons in the ring, and nitrogen may be substituted because that carbon. Isomers

The three-dimensional placement of atoms and chemical bonds in ~ organic molecules is main to knowledge their chemistry. Molecules the share the very same chemical formula but differ in the location (structure) of their atoms and/or chemistry bonds are well-known as isomers. Structure isomers (like butane and isobutene shown in a) different in the location of their covalent bonds: both molecule have four carbons and also ten hydrogens (C4H10), but the different arrangement of the atom within the molecules leader to differences in their chemical properties. For example, as result of their different chemical properties, butane is suitable for usage as a fuel for cigarette lighters and also torches, conversely, isobutene is suited for usage as a refrigerant and also a propellant in spray cans.

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Geometric isomers, on the various other hand, have similar placements of their covalent bonds however differ in how these bonds space made come the bordering atoms, especially in carbon-to-carbon dual bonds. In the basic molecule butene (C4H8), the two methyl groups (CH3) deserve to be ~ above either next of the twin covalent bond central to the molecule, as depicted in b. Once the carbons space bound ~ above the very same side the the dual bond, this is the cis configuration; if they room on opposite political parties of the twin bond, that is a trans configuration. In the trans configuration, the carbons type a much more or much less linear structure, conversely, the carbons in the cis configuration do a bending (change in direction) of the carbon backbone.