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What is the maximum number of covalent bonds an element with atomic number 8 can make with hydrogen?
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The element with atomic number 8 would need 2 electrons to fill its valence shell, where as hydrogen only needs 1 to fill its valence shell right?

The answer to this is 2 maximum covalent bonds, but I cannot figure out why. Science savvy people heeeelp I have a bio 2 exam coming up and my professor and TA are slow at responding to email! Thanks!

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Reply# 1
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A year ago

This element is oxygen. It needs 8 electrons to fill its valence shell. Two electrons are in a lower shell. That leaves six in its valence shell.  Hydrogen contributes one electron.  So two hydrogens will complete the valence shell of oxygen.

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A year ago

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The electron configuration of an element with atomic number 8 is:

1s2 2s2 2p4

So, the three p orbitals consist of a pair of electrons in one of the p orbital and two singly occupied p orbitals.  Each lone electron from this two singly occupied p orbitals can share with the electron from the hydrogen atoms.

Note: Covalent bond is formed by sharing of electrons.

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A year ago

Element having atomic no. 8 need 2 electron to acheive a stable elctronic configuration i.e. 2,8. The H atom have only 1 electron and need only 1 electron to attain a stable configuration. Therefore,  2 covent bonds will be formed.

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