∞ generated and posted on 2016.02.20 ∞
Element possessing 8 protons per atom and 6 valence electrons.
To form stable molecules, oxygen atoms must obtain in some capacity two additional electrons, thereby completing their octet. This can be accomplished by bonding to one carbon and one hydrogen atom (C-O-H), which forms a hydroxyl or alcohol group. Alternatively, a single atom of oxygen can form two covalent bonds with a single atom of carbon (C=O). To complete carbon's octet, binding in the same manner can occur to a second oxygen (O=C=O) which forms CO2, i.e., carbon dioxide. Oxygen can also double bond to itself (O=O), forming what can be described as molecular oxygen.
Oxygen is an essential element and also crucial to the functioning of aerobic organisms as the final electron acceptor in cellular respiration, a.k.a., oxidative phosphorylation.