Organic chemistry

What is organic chemistry?

Organic chemistry is defined as the structure, preparation, property, reaction, and composition of carbon-containing compounds, including hydrocarbons, nitrogen, halogens, silicon, sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus.

This branch was initially limited to compounds which are produced by living organisms but now has been expanded to include man-made substances like plastics. It has a wide application in the field of pharmaceuticals, food, paints, cosmetics, petrochemicals, and explosives.

The different kinds of chemicals studied in organic chemistry are

  • Hydrocarbons – Compounds containing only hydrogen and carbon as well as compounds based on carbon, but also contain other elements, such as oxygen, sulfur, halogens, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
  • Contemporary research mainly focuses on organic chemistry which includes other organometallics such as lanthanides, but especially the transition metals like copper, nickel, titanium chromium, zinc, palladium, and cobalt. The study of compounds containing carbon-metal bonds is called organometallic chemistry.

Organic compounds are the basis of life and comprise the majority of known chemicals. They form the basis of many commercial products such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, fuels, explosives, products made from lubricants, solvents; plastics and petrochemicals.

Properties of organic chemistry

  • Boiling and melting properties – In the early days, the melting point and boiling point provided significant information on the purity and to identify various organic compounds. Symmetrical organic compounds, sublime, which means they evaporate without melting. The best example of a sublimable organic compound is para-dichlorobenzene.
  • Solid-state properties – Thermo-mechanical and electro-mechanical properties such as piezoelectricity, electrical conductivity, and electro-optical properties.
  • Solubility – Neutral organic compounds are hydrophobic which means they are less soluble in water than in organic solvents. These compounds dissolve in organic solvents such as pure substances for example ethyl alcohol or ether or mixtures of paraffinic solvents like white spirit, petroleum ether, etc.

Classification of organic compounds

Organic compounds are classified based on the following:

  • Functional groups – Some examples include alcohols, amines, carboxylic acids, etc.
  • Aliphatic compounds – These are divided into three viz alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes.
  • Aromatic compounds – Best example of aromatic compound is benzene.
  • Heterocyclic compounds – Examples of aromatic heterocycles are furan and pyridine. Examples of alicyclic heterocycles are tetrahydrofuran and piperidine.
  • Polymers – They are divided into synthetic polymers and biopolymers.
  • Biomolecules – Synthesis of peptide, oligonucleotide, carbohydrates.
  • Small molecules
  • Fullerenes

For interactive and interesting content on Organic compounds or any other chemistry topic such as redox reaction register to BYJU’S – The Learning App.

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