- Organic compound
An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds such as carbides, carbonates, simple oxides of carbon, and cyanides, as well as the allotropes of carbon such as diamond and graphite, are considered inorganic. The distinction between "organic" and "inorganic" carbon compounds, while "useful in organizing the vast subject of chemistry... is somewhat arbitrary".
The word "organic" is historical, dating back to the 1st century. For many centuries, Western alchemists believed in vitalism. This is the theory that certain compounds could be synthesized only from their classical elements — Earth, Water, Air, and Fire — by action of a "life-force" (vis vitalis) possessed only by organisms. Vitalism taught that these "organic" compounds were fundamentally different from the "inorganic" compounds that could be obtained from the elements by chemical manipulation.
Vitalism survived for a while even after the rise of modern atomic theory and the replacement of the Aristotelian elements by those we know today. It first came under question in 1824, when Friedrich Wöhler synthesized oxalic acid, a compound known to occur only in living organisms, from cyanogen. A more decisive experiment was Wöhler's 1828 synthesis of urea from the inorganic salts potassium cyanate and ammonium sulfate. Urea had long been considered to be an "organic" compound, as it was known to occur only in the urine of living organisms. Wöhler's experiments were followed by many others, where increasingly complex "organic" substances were produced from "inorganic" ones without the involvement of any living organism.
Even though vitalism has been discredited, the distinction between "organic" and "inorganic" compounds has been retained through the present. The modern meaning of "organic compound" is any one of them that contains a significant amount of carbon - even though many of the "organic compounds" known today have no connection whatsoever with any substance found in living organisms.
There is no "official" definition of an organic compound. Some textbooks define an organic compound as one containing one or more C-H bonds; others include C-C bonds in the definition. Others state that if a molecule contains carbon―it is organic.
Even the broader definition of "carbon-containing molecules" requires the exclusion of carbon-containing alloys (including steel), a relatively small number of carbon-containing compounds such as metal carbonates and carbonyls, simple oxides of carbon and cyanides, as well as the allotropes of carbon and simple carbon halides and sulfides, which are usually considered to be inorganic.
The "C-H" definition excludes compounds that are historically and practically considered to be organic. Neither urea nor oxalic acid is organic by this definition, yet they were two key compounds in the vitalism debate. The IUPAC Blue Book on organic nomenclature specifically mentions urea and oxalic acid. Other compounds lacking C-H bonds that are also traditionally considered to be organic include benzenehexol, mesoxalic acid, and carbon tetrachloride. Mellitic acid, which contains no C-H bonds, is considered to be a possible organic substance in Martian soil. All do, however, contain C-C bonds.
The "C-H bond-only" rule also leads to somewhat arbitrary divisions in sets of carbon-fluorine compounds, as, for example, Teflon is considered by this rule "inorganic" but Tefzel organic. Likewise, many Halons are considered inorganic, whereas the rest are considered organic. For these and other reasons, most sources consider C-H compounds to be only a subset of "organic" compounds.
In summary, most carbon-containing compounds are organic, and most compounds with a C-H bond are organic. Not all organic compounds necessarily contain C-H bonds (e.g., urea).
Organic compounds may be classified in a variety of ways. One major distinction is between natural and synthetic compounds. Organic compounds can also be classified or subdivided by the presence of heteroatoms, e.g., organometallic compounds, which feature bonds between carbon and a metal, and organophosphorus compounds, which feature bonds between carbon and a phosphorus.
Natural compounds refer to those that are produced by plants or animals. Many of these are still extracted from natural sources because they would be far too expensive to be produced artificially. Examples include most sugars, some alkaloids and terpenoids, certain nutrients such as vitamin B12, and, in general, those natural products with large or stereoisometrically complicated molecules present in reasonable concentrations in living organisms.
Further compounds of prime importance in biochemistry are antigens, carbohydrates, enzymes, hormones, lipids and fatty acids, neurotransmitters, nucleic acids, proteins, peptides and amino acids, lectins, vitamins, and fats and oils.
Compounds that are prepared by reaction of other compounds are referred to as "synthetic". They may be either compounds that already are found in plants or animals or those that do not occur naturally.
Most polymers (a category that includes all plastics and rubbers), are organic synthetic or semi-synthetic compounds.
- The CAS database is the most comprehensive repository for data on organic compounds. The search tool SciFinder is offered.
- The Beilstein database contains information on 9.8 million substances, covers the scientific literature from 1771 to the present, and is today accessible via Reaxys. Structures and a large diversity of physical and chemical properties is available for each substance, with reference to original literature.
- PubChem contains 18.4 million entries on compounds and especially covers the field of medicinal chemistry.
There is a great number of more specialized databases for diverse branches of organic chemistry.
- ^ Spencer L. Seager, Michael R. Slabaugh. Chemistry for Today: general, organic, and biochemistry. Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2004, p. 342. ISBN 053439969X
- ^ Robert T. Morrison, Robert N. Boyd, and Robert K. Boyd, Organic Chemistry, 6th edition (Benjamin Cummings, 1992, ISBN 0-13-643669-2
- ^ "IUPAC Blue Book, Urea and Its Derivatives Rule C-971". http://www.acdlabs.com/iupac/nomenclature/79/r79_661.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
- ^ "IUPAC Blue Book, Table 28(a) Carboxylic acids and related groups. Unsubstituted parent structures". http://www.acdlabs.com/iupac/nomenclature/93/r93_705.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
- ^ S. A. Benner, K. G. Devine, L. N. Matveeva, D. H. Powell (2000). "The missing organic molecules on Mars". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97 (6): 2425–2430. Bibcode 2000PNAS...97.2425B. doi:10.1073/pnas.040539497. PMC 15945. PMID 10706606. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=15945.
Concepts in organic chemistry
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organic compound — organinis junginys statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Anglies junginys su kitais elementais (išskyrus CO, CO₂, metalų karbonatus, karbidus). atitikmenys: angl. organic compound rus. органическое соединение … Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas
organic compound — organinis junginys statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. organic compound vok. organische Verbindung, f rus. органическое соединение, n pranc. composé organique, m … Fizikos terminų žodynas
organic compound — compound derived from living material … English contemporary dictionary
organic compound — Substance whose molecules contain one or more (often many more) carbon atoms (excluding carbonates, cyanides, carbides, and a few others; see inorganic compound). Until 1828 (see urea), scientists believed that organic compounds could be formed… … Universalium
organic compound — noun any compound of carbon and another element or a radical • Hypernyms: ↑compound, ↑chemical compound • Hyponyms: ↑aldehyde, ↑aliphatic compound, ↑alkylbenzene, ↑alkyl halide, ↑haloalk … Useful english dictionary
organic compound — noun Any compound containing carbon atoms covalently bound to other atoms. Ant: inorganic compound … Wiktionary
organic compound — a compound containing carbon, except for certain binary and ternary carbon compounds and metallic carbonates; see also inorganic c … Medical dictionary
Organic compound — Органическое соединение … Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии
Volatile organic compound — Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary, room temperature conditions. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or… … Wikipedia
Volatile organic compound — Flüchtige organische Verbindungen (Abk.: VOC bzw. VOCs nach volatile organic compound[s]) ist die Sammelbezeichnung für organische, also kohlenstoffhaltige Stoffe, die leicht verdampfen (flüchtig sind) bzw. schon als Gas bei niedrigen… … Deutsch Wikipedia