Why Is Carbon Important?

Carbon is important because most living creatures on Earth are composed of carbon, according to The State University of New Jersey website. Living things need carbon to grow, live and reproduce.

Carbon is vital in forming large, complex and diverse molecules that characterize living matter, according to Earthlink. It has a bonding capacity of four, which allows it to engage in various structurally different bonding arrangements. It also plays a key role in shaping organic molecules. Carbon is very important to the chemistry of living things, mainly because of the versatility of structures it can form with itself and with other atoms. It is capable of forming four covalent bonds, and it is also capable of forming bonds with various geometries, such as single, double and triple bonds, tetrahedral geometries, linear structures, and polar and non-polar bonds. Carbon can form a large selection of molecules with significantly different chemical characteristics. Carbon skeletons have different shapes and lengths, and they have bonding sites for other elements’ atoms, such as hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur.

The versatile bonding of carbon is the bases for isomers, which are molecules with the same molecular formula but have different structures and properties. The three kinds of isomers are structural isomers, geometric isomers and optical isomers.