Bonding of methane
Methane is classified as an organic compound, a substance composed of mainly carbon and hydrogen. In fact, methane is a compound that is made exclusively of carbon and hydrogen, or a hydrocarbon. With a formula of CH4, that is, four hydrogen atoms bonded to a single carbon atom, methane is the simplest of the hydrocarbons, a group also referred to as the alkanes.
The chemical bonds found within methane are classified as covalent bonds. A covalent bond is formed when two or more atoms share one or more electrons located in the outermost energy level, also known as the valenceshell. The valence electrons from each donor atom form pairs through overlap of their electron clouds to create a covalent bond.
For methane the covalent bonds form from the sharing of a single electron from each hydrogen with the four unpaired valence electrons of a single carbon atom. The hydrogen atoms are arranged around the central carbon atom in a geometry known as a tetrahedral geometry. Tetrahedral geometry means that, if you drew a line to connect three hydrogen atoms on the same side of the molecule, you would have a pyramid with four triangular faces.