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Overview of Module 3

Overview of Module 3

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Overview of Module 3

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    1. Overview of Module 3 By the end of this module, you will be able to Describe why carbon is a versatile element. Define the terms hydrocarbon, hydrophobic and hydrophilic. Identify the functional groups of hydroxyl, carbonyl, carboxyl, amine, phosphate and sulfhydryl and describe their properties. Give examples of each functional group.

    2. Module 3: Carbon and Functional Groups Module 4: Carbon and Functional GroupsModule 4: Carbon and Functional Groups

    3. Sections For This Module I. Carbon, the Versatile Element Functional Groups Making Solutions There are two sections for this module. Section I is on carbon and section II is on functional groups.There are two sections for this module. Section I is on carbon and section II is on functional groups.

    4. I. Carbon, the versatile element Section I: Carbon, the Versatile ElementSection I: Carbon, the Versatile Element

    5. Why Carbon Is So Versatile Carbon has 4 valence electrons so it can make single, double and triple bonds Ethane, showing single bond between carbons Ethene, showing double bond between carbons Ethyne, showing triple bond between carbons Single and double bonds are common in living organisms. Carbon has 4 valence electrons, so it can make single bonds as shown in the molecule ethane, and double bonds as in ethene and triple bonds as in ethyne. The single and double bonds are common in living organisms; the triple bond is relatively rare.Carbon has 4 valence electrons, so it can make single bonds as shown in the molecule ethane, and double bonds as in ethene and triple bonds as in ethyne. The single and double bonds are common in living organisms; the triple bond is relatively rare.

    6. Carbon, continued Carbon can be found in long chains, such as the fatty acids that usually contain 14-18 carbons in single and double bonds. Carbon can also be found in rings, such as cyclohexane with single bonds Some rings have both single and double bonds, such as benzene: Carbon can be found in long chains, often with hydrogens attached in molecules. Carbon can also be found in rings either by itself as with cyclohexane or with other atoms such as the glucose ring of 5 carbons and an oxygen. Some rings contain alternating single and double bonds such as benzene. Carbon can be found in long chains, often with hydrogens attached in molecules. Carbon can also be found in rings either by itself as with cyclohexane or with other atoms such as the glucose ring of 5 carbons and an oxygen. Some rings contain alternating single and double bonds such as benzene.

    7. Carbon, continued This ability of carbon to form single and double bonds and to make chains and rings, makes carbon very versatile. The study of the properties and reactions of carbon is called organic chemistry. Carbon, along with N, O and H make up 96% of living organisms. Carbon is very versatile since it can form so many shapes and have single and double bonds. The study of the properties and reactions of carbon is called organic chemistry and is therefore required of all chemistry and biology majors. Carbon, along with nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen, make up 96% of all living organisms.Carbon is very versatile since it can form so many shapes and have single and double bonds. The study of the properties and reactions of carbon is called organic chemistry and is therefore required of all chemistry and biology majors. Carbon, along with nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen, make up 96% of all living organisms.

    8. Hydrocarbons Molecules made of hydrogen and carbon are called hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are hydrophobic, meaning that they fear water and so repel water. Examples of molecules with hydrocarbons Gasoline, an 8-carbon hydrocarbon Butter, with 3 hydrocarbon fatty acids Cholesterol, a molecule made of 4 rings of hydrocarbons Hydrocarbons are chains or rings of carbon to which hydrogens are attached, hence the name which is a contraction of hydrogen-carbon. Hydrocarbons are hydrophobic, a term that means water-fearing or water-hating Hydrophobic molecules repel water. Oil is hydrophobic and we all know that oil and water dont mix. Other examples of hydrocarbons are gasoline which is mostly octane, an 8-carbon chain of hydrocarbons used to run our cars, butter which contains many fatty acids which are hydrocarbons with single bonds (saturated fats) or double bonds (unsaturated fats). Cholesterol is a hydrocarbon made mostly of 4 carbon-containing rings.Hydrocarbons are chains or rings of carbon to which hydrogens are attached, hence the name which is a contraction of hydrogen-carbon. Hydrocarbons are hydrophobic, a term that means water-fearing or water-hating Hydrophobic molecules repel water. Oil is hydrophobic and we all know that oil and water dont mix. Other examples of hydrocarbons are gasoline which is mostly octane, an 8-carbon chain of hydrocarbons used to run our cars, butter which contains many fatty acids which are hydrocarbons with single bonds (saturated fats) or double bonds (unsaturated fats). Cholesterol is a hydrocarbon made mostly of 4 carbon-containing rings.

    9. Concept Check 1. Draw a hydrocarbon chain of 4 carbons. 2. Draw a hydrocarbon ring of 5 carbons.

    10. Concept Check Answers Note that each C has 4 bonds Cycopentane

    11. II. Functional Groups Section II: Functional GroupsSection II: Functional Groups

    12. Functional Groups Functional groups are groups of atoms attached to the hydrocarbon backbone. Functional groups give molecules their unique properties, or functions. Functional groups are groups of atoms that are attached to a hydrocarbon backbone to give molecules their unique properties or functions.Functional groups are groups of atoms that are attached to a hydrocarbon backbone to give molecules their unique properties or functions.

    13. The Major Functional Groups Hydroxyls of alcohols Carbonyls of aldehydes and ketones Carboxyls of carboxylic acids Aminos of amines Sulfhydryls of thiols Phosphates of organic phosphates There are six major functional groups in living organisms which we will examine one at a time. The first 3 contain oxygen, the amines contain a nitrogen, the sylhydryls are sulfur and hydrogen and the phosphates contain a phosphorus attached to 4 oxygens.There are six major functional groups in living organisms which we will examine one at a time. The first 3 contain oxygen, the amines contain a nitrogen, the sylhydryls are sulfur and hydrogen and the phosphates contain a phosphorus attached to 4 oxygens.

    14. 1. The Hydroxyl The hydroxyl group is an O-H attached to a hydrocarbon. Called alcohols Usually have alcohol or ol at the end of the name. Example, the 2-carbon alcohol Called ethyl alcohol or ethanol Alcohols are the least oxidized (most reduced) of all the oxygen-containing functional groups. The hydroxyl group is a hydrogen-oxygen group (hence hydroxyl) or OH attached to a hydrocarbon. Molecules with a hydroxyl group are called alcohols and usually have the word alcohol or the suffix ol in their names. For example the 2-carbon alcohol that we drink is called ethyl alcohol or ethanol. With its hydrogen attached to an oxygen, alcohols are the least oxidized or most reduced (has most electrons) of all the oxygen-containing functional groups.The hydroxyl group is a hydrogen-oxygen group (hence hydroxyl) or OH attached to a hydrocarbon. Molecules with a hydroxyl group are called alcohols and usually have the word alcohol or the suffix ol in their names. For example the 2-carbon alcohol that we drink is called ethyl alcohol or ethanol. With its hydrogen attached to an oxygen, alcohols are the least oxidized or most reduced (has most electrons) of all the oxygen-containing functional groups.

    15. Examples of Alcohols Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) Note OH is on middle carbon Soluble in water. Cholesterol Note OH on lower left Insoluble in water. Glycerol Molecule with 3 OHs Soluble in water Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol is a chain of 3 carbons with the hydoxyl group on the middle carbon. As with ethanol, isopropyl alcohol is soluble in water. Cholesterolnote ol at the end of the wordis an alcohol. However, because it has so many hydrophobic hydrocarbons in its molecule, it is insoluble in water and is considered a lipid. Glycerol is a triol, containing a hydroxyl on each of its 3 carbons. Glycerol is used to make triglycerides, the lipid with three fatty acids attached to the glycerol backbone.Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol is a chain of 3 carbons with the hydoxyl group on the middle carbon. As with ethanol, isopropyl alcohol is soluble in water. Cholesterolnote ol at the end of the wordis an alcohol. However, because it has so many hydrophobic hydrocarbons in its molecule, it is insoluble in water and is considered a lipid. Glycerol is a triol, containing a hydroxyl on each of its 3 carbons. Glycerol is used to make triglycerides, the lipid with three fatty acids attached to the glycerol backbone.

    16. Properties of Alcohols The hydroxyl group, -OH, is polar (See module 4 for polarity) Means it is hydrophilic or water-loving Alcohols smaller than 4 carbons are soluble in water Example is 2-carbon alcohol, ethyl alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. Alcohols larger than 4 carbons are insoluble in water, such as cholesterol. The hydroxyl group of alcohols is polar and so is readily dissolved in water. In alcohols smaller than 4 carbons, the polar hydoxyl group dominates over the hydrocarbon and so the molecules are soluble in water. In alcohols larger than 4 carbons, such as cholesterol, the hydrophobic hydrocarbons dominate over the hydroxyl group and the molecules are insoluble in water.The hydroxyl group of alcohols is polar and so is readily dissolved in water. In alcohols smaller than 4 carbons, the polar hydoxyl group dominates over the hydrocarbon and so the molecules are soluble in water. In alcohols larger than 4 carbons, such as cholesterol, the hydrophobic hydrocarbons dominate over the hydroxyl group and the molecules are insoluble in water.

    17. 2. The Carbonyl Group The carbonyl is pronounced car-bon-eel This is a double-bonded O attached to C =O At the end of a molecule called aldehyde CH3C=O called acetaldehyde H In middle of molecule, called ketone CH3-C-CH3 called acetone (fingernail polish O remover) The carbonyl is a double bonded oxygen attached to a carbon. At the end of a molecule, it is called an aldehyde with aldehyde usually at the end of the name. The molecule here is called acetaldehyde. If the carbonyl is in the middle of a molecule, it is called a ketone and usually has the suffix one This example is acetone or fingernail polish remover.The carbonyl is a double bonded oxygen attached to a carbon. At the end of a molecule, it is called an aldehyde with aldehyde usually at the end of the name. The molecule here is called acetaldehyde. If the carbonyl is in the middle of a molecule, it is called a ketone and usually has the suffix one This example is acetone or fingernail polish remover.

    18. The Carbonyl, continued The double-bonded oxygen without an H means that it is less reduced (more oxidized) The carbonyl is more oxidized than the hydroxyl but less than the carboxylic acid. Carbonyls CANNOT form hydrogen bonds with itself because there is no H attached to the O. Since it does not have a hydrogen attached to the oxygen, the carbonyl is more oxidized than the hydroxyl, though as we will see next, it is less oxydized than the carboxylic acid. Without the hydrogen attached to the oxygen, carbonyls cannot form hydrogen bonds either with itself or with water. Acetone cannot dissolve in water.Since it does not have a hydrogen attached to the oxygen, the carbonyl is more oxidized than the hydroxyl, though as we will see next, it is less oxydized than the carboxylic acid. Without the hydrogen attached to the oxygen, carbonyls cannot form hydrogen bonds either with itself or with water. Acetone cannot dissolve in water.

    19. Examples of Aldehydes Formaldehyde, a preservative Acetaldehyde, a liver product Glucose, a combination of aldehyde & alcohol

    20. Examples of Ketones Carvone (caroway seeds) (also used as fungicide) Thymine, a part of DNA --has 2 ketones

    21. 3. The Carboxyl Group The carboxyl group is a carbon to which a carbonyl AND a hydroxyl are added or -COOH or CO2H The most oxidized of all the functional groups. Can form hydrogen bonds. Molecules with a carboxyl group are called carboxylic acids. The carboxyl group has a carbonyl and a hydroxyl attached to a carbon and are shown in one of these three ways. Carboxyls are the most oxidized of all the functional groups and can form hydrogen bonds with each other and with water. Molecules with a carboxyl group are called carboxylic acids and usually have the word acid in their names.The carboxyl group has a carbonyl and a hydroxyl attached to a carbon and are shown in one of these three ways. Carboxyls are the most oxidized of all the functional groups and can form hydrogen bonds with each other and with water. Molecules with a carboxyl group are called carboxylic acids and usually have the word acid in their names.

    22. Carboxylic Acids The H from the carboxyl is easily donated so carboxylic acids are acidic. CH3COOH ? CH3COO- + H+ acetic acid acetate hydrogen ion (proton) Carboxylic acids are the among the most acidic of all the organic, or carbon-containing, acids. Found frequently in living organisms. The hydrogen from a carboxyl group is easily donated, so carboxylic acids are acidic. As we can see in this reaction the acetic acid donates its proton to the water or to a base to make the ion acetate. Sodium acetate is the salt of sodium ion (Na+) and the acetate ion (CH3COO-) Carboxylic acids are among the most acidic of all the organic or carbon-containing acids and if frequently found in living organisms.The hydrogen from a carboxyl group is easily donated, so carboxylic acids are acidic. As we can see in this reaction the acetic acid donates its proton to the water or to a base to make the ion acetate. Sodium acetate is the salt of sodium ion (Na+) and the acetate ion (CH3COO-) Carboxylic acids are among the most acidic of all the organic or carbon-containing acids and if frequently found in living organisms.

    23. Examples of Carboxylic Acids All amino acids, the subunits of proteins alanine Some molecules of aerobic respiration, because the carboxyl group can come off as the waste gas CO2 which we exhale. Pyruvic acid, Citric Acid, end of glycolysis in Krebs cycle has 3 carboxyls All amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, have a carboxylic acid functional group at one end of the molecule as seen in this amino acid, alanine. Also, some molecules of aerobic respiration contain carboxylic acids. For example the final step of glycolysis is the production of pyruvic acid. It quickly loses a proton to make pyruvate which then removes the COO- as carbon dioxide which we breathe out. Another example is citric acid, part of the Krebs cycle. Citric acid has 3 carboxyl functional groups and can donate a proton and become citrate.All amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, have a carboxylic acid functional group at one end of the molecule as seen in this amino acid, alanine. Also, some molecules of aerobic respiration contain carboxylic acids. For example the final step of glycolysis is the production of pyruvic acid. It quickly loses a proton to make pyruvate which then removes the COO- as carbon dioxide which we breathe out. Another example is citric acid, part of the Krebs cycle. Citric acid has 3 carboxyl functional groups and can donate a proton and become citrate.

    24. 4. The Amino Group A molecule containing a Nitrogen often as NH2 May be located at the end or in the middle of a molecule. Called amines. The amino group is a functional group containing a nitrogen often as NH2. This amino group may be at the end of a molecule or within a molecule. Any molecule containing an amino group usually amine or the suffix ine in its name.The amino group is a functional group containing a nitrogen often as NH2. This amino group may be at the end of a molecule or within a molecule. Any molecule containing an amino group usually amine or the suffix ine in its name.

    25. The Amines Can accept a proton (H+) and so are basic or alkaline. CH3NH2 + H+ ? CH3NH3+ methyl amine proton methylammonium ion Can also form hydrogen bonds with other polar groups. The hydrogen bonds holding DNA in the double helix involve amines. Are often the decay products of proteins and so smell terrible. ? Amines can accept a proton and so are basic or alkaline. In this example methylamine accepts a proton to become the charged ion methylammonium ion. Since there is usually a hydrogen attached to the nitrogen, amines can form hydrogen bonds with other polar groups such as alcohols or water. Amines from the nucleotides of DNA hydrogen bond together to form the double helix. Amines are found in many decay products of proteins and so often smell terrible. Rotting fish has many amines.Amines can accept a proton and so are basic or alkaline. In this example methylamine accepts a proton to become the charged ion methylammonium ion. Since there is usually a hydrogen attached to the nitrogen, amines can form hydrogen bonds with other polar groups such as alcohols or water. Amines from the nucleotides of DNA hydrogen bond together to form the double helix. Amines are found in many decay products of proteins and so often smell terrible. Rotting fish has many amines.

    26. Examples of Amines All amino acids have an amino group: alanine Decay molecules such as putrescine Nucleotides such as thymine The amino portion of an amino acid is due to the amine at the other end of the molecule from the carboxyl as with this example, alanine. Also, the decay products such as the aptly-named putrescine are amines. And the nucleotides in nucleic acids such as DNA are amines with the amino functional groups making up part of the ring structure. We looked at the ketones of thymine earlier. Thymine also contains 2 amine groups. The amino portion of an amino acid is due to the amine at the other end of the molecule from the carboxyl as with this example, alanine. Also, the decay products such as the aptly-named putrescine are amines. And the nucleotides in nucleic acids such as DNA are amines with the amino functional groups making up part of the ring structure. We looked at the ketones of thymine earlier. Thymine also contains 2 amine groups.

    27. 5. Sulfhydryl Group Name is combination of Sulfur and hydryl or hydrogen-containing. Have S-H attached to the middle or end of a molecule. Since sulfur is in the same family as oxygen, it forms 2 covalent bonds. Called thiols. The name sulfhydryl comes from a contraction of sulfur and hydrogen. Sulfhydryl groups, therefore, are an SH attached to the middle or end of a molecule. Since sulfur is in the same family as oxygen, it forms 2 covalent bonds and the sulfhydryl has some similarities to the hydroxyl, though sulfhydryls are much less polar and cannot form hydrogen bonds easily. Molecules with a sulfhydryl functional group are called thiols.The name sulfhydryl comes from a contraction of sulfur and hydrogen. Sulfhydryl groups, therefore, are an SH attached to the middle or end of a molecule. Since sulfur is in the same family as oxygen, it forms 2 covalent bonds and the sulfhydryl has some similarities to the hydroxyl, though sulfhydryls are much less polar and cannot form hydrogen bonds easily. Molecules with a sulfhydryl functional group are called thiols.

    28. An Example of Thiols The most important thiol in living organisms is the amino acid cysteine (cys) The thiols of 2 cysteines can make a covalent bond, the disulfide bridge, locking proteins into their characteristic shape. cysCH2SSCH2cys The most important thiol in living systems is the amino acid cysteine. The sulfhydryl functional groups from 2 cysteines in a protein can lose their hydrogens and form a covalent bond. This bond, called the disulfide bridge, is often between two cysteines far apart on the protein, lock that protein into its characteristic shape. Thiols often smell bad because of the sulfur. The smell of rotting eggs is due to the disulfide bridges in the egg white breaking down and releasing sulfur.The most important thiol in living systems is the amino acid cysteine. The sulfhydryl functional groups from 2 cysteines in a protein can lose their hydrogens and form a covalent bond. This bond, called the disulfide bridge, is often between two cysteines far apart on the protein, lock that protein into its characteristic shape. Thiols often smell bad because of the sulfur. The smell of rotting eggs is due to the disulfide bridges in the egg white breaking down and releasing sulfur.

    29. 6. The Phosphate Group The phosphate group is a phosphorus atom with 4 oxygens attached. Two oxygens often donate their Hs, so phosphate can carry a 2- charge, an anion, a negatively-charged ion. The last functional group in living organisms is the phosphate group. Organic phosphates are made of a phosphorus atom with 4 oxygens attached. Note that the carbon is attached to one of these oxygens and not directly to the phosphorus. In water, the two hydroxyls will often donate their hydrogens and so phosphate can carry a charge of -2, making it an anion or negatively charged ion. The last functional group in living organisms is the phosphate group. Organic phosphates are made of a phosphorus atom with 4 oxygens attached. Note that the carbon is attached to one of these oxygens and not directly to the phosphorus. In water, the two hydroxyls will often donate their hydrogens and so phosphate can carry a charge of -2, making it an anion or negatively charged ion.

    30. Examples of Phosphates The Nucleic Acids all contain phosphates. ATP, the energy molecule, has 3 phosphates, one of which may be used to transfer chemical energy between molecules. (See module on energetics) DNA and RNA have backbones made of phosphates alternating with a deoxyribose or ribose monosaccharide. Molecules that accept Hydrogen such as NAD+ or FAD+ contain phosphates. Nucleic acids all contain phosphates. For example, ATP, the energy molecule, has three phosphates as implied in its name adenosine triphosphate. DNA and RNA both have backbones made of phosphates alternating with the sugar, deoxyribose in DNA or ribose in RNA. And the nucleic acids that act as hydrogen acceptors such as NAD or FAD contain phosphates.Nucleic acids all contain phosphates. For example, ATP, the energy molecule, has three phosphates as implied in its name adenosine triphosphate. DNA and RNA both have backbones made of phosphates alternating with the sugar, deoxyribose in DNA or ribose in RNA. And the nucleic acids that act as hydrogen acceptors such as NAD or FAD contain phosphates.

    31. Concept Check 1. Identify the 3 functional groups in this molecule. 2. Which of the groups above form hydrogen bonds? 3. Which of the groups above is basic?

    32. Concept Check Answers

    33. Section III: Making Solutions

    34. Percent solutions A percent solution is grams solute in 100 mL water 5% solution is 5 g solute in 100 mL water 20% solution is 200 g solute in 4000mL water A percent solution is given as grams solute in 100mL water. Therefore a 5% solution is 5 g in 100 mL water and a 20% solution is 200 g solute in 4000 mL or 4 L water.A percent solution is given as grams solute in 100mL water. Therefore a 5% solution is 5 g in 100 mL water and a 20% solution is 200 g solute in 4000 mL or 4 L water.

    35. Example of a Percent Solution Q: Make 1000 mL of a 7% solution A: A 7% solution has 7 g solute in 100 mL solution. Since we need to make a Liter, we will need 70 g solute Q: Make 1000 mL of a 7% solution. A: A 7% solution has 7 g solute in 100 mL water. Since we need to make a liter, we will need 70 g solute.Q: Make 1000 mL of a 7% solution. A: A 7% solution has 7 g solute in 100 mL water. Since we need to make a liter, we will need 70 g solute.

    36. Molar Solution G needed = Formula Wt x Molarity X Liters Formula Weight (FW) is the sum of each of the atomic masses for the molecule i.e. NaCl = 23g/mole (Na) + 35.5g/mole(Cl)=58.5 g/mole Molarity is the moles per liter i.e. a 2M solution has 2 moles per liter Liters is the volume i.e. 100 mL = 0.1 L The formula for making a molar solution is the grams needed is equal to the formula weight times the molarity times the liters. The formula weight is the sum of each of the atomic masses of the atoms making up a molecule. For example, NaCl has a Formula weight of 58.5 g/mole of which 23 g/mole came from the sodium and 35.5 g/mole came from the chlorine. The molarity is the moles per liter. A mole is a pile of 6.02 x 1023 molecules, so a 2 Molar solution has 2 moles per liter Liters is the volume. When doing any molar solution problems the volume must always be listed as liters.The formula for making a molar solution is the grams needed is equal to the formula weight times the molarity times the liters. The formula weight is the sum of each of the atomic masses of the atoms making up a molecule. For example, NaCl has a Formula weight of 58.5 g/mole of which 23 g/mole came from the sodium and 35.5 g/mole came from the chlorine. The molarity is the moles per liter. A mole is a pile of 6.02 x 1023 molecules, so a 2 Molar solution has 2 moles per liter Liters is the volume. When doing any molar solution problems the volume must always be listed as liters.

    37. Making a Molar Solution Q: How many g of NaCl are needed to make 100 mL of a 2 M solution? A: g needed = 58.5 g/mole x 2 mole/L x 0.1L = 11.7 g NaCl needed Weigh out 11.7 g NaCl and place in about 70 mL water. Dissolve then bring to 100 mL with water. Q: How many g of NaCl are needed to make 100 mL of a 2M solution? A: Using the formula, the g needed is the formula weight of NaCl, 58.5 g/mole times the molarity or 2 mole/L times the volume of 100 mL converted to 0.1 L. Therefore 11.7 g NaCl are needed to make 100 mL of a 2 M solution of salt water. To make the solution, weigh out 11.7 g NaCl and place it in about 70 mL water. Dissolve the NaCl, then bring to 100 mL with water. Do not start with 100 mL water or the volume of the NaCl will make the final volume too high and you wont have a 2 M solution.Q: How many g of NaCl are needed to make 100 mL of a 2M solution? A: Using the formula, the g needed is the formula weight of NaCl, 58.5 g/mole times the molarity or 2 mole/L times the volume of 100 mL converted to 0.1 L. Therefore 11.7 g NaCl are needed to make 100 mL of a 2 M solution of salt water. To make the solution, weigh out 11.7 g NaCl and place it in about 70 mL water. Dissolve the NaCl, then bring to 100 mL with water. Do not start with 100 mL water or the volume of the NaCl will make the final volume too high and you wont have a 2 M solution.

    38. Summary Carbon is a versatile element because it has 4 valence electrons and can form single, double and triple bonds. Carbon can form chains or ring structures. There are 6 functional groups making: Alcohols Aldehydes and Ketones Carboxylic Acids Amines Thiols Phosphates In summary, carbon is a versatile element because it has four valence electrons and can form different kinds of bonds. Carbon can form chains or ring structures with itself or involving other atoms. There are 6 functional groups making the alcohols, the aldehydes and ketones, the carboxylic acids, the amines, the thiols and the phosphates.In summary, carbon is a versatile element because it has four valence electrons and can form different kinds of bonds. Carbon can form chains or ring structures with itself or involving other atoms. There are 6 functional groups making the alcohols, the aldehydes and ketones, the carboxylic acids, the amines, the thiols and the phosphates.