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Organic compound

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Title: Organic compound  
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Collection: Organic Chemistry, Organic Compounds
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Organic compound

Methane is one of the simplest organic compounds

An organic compound is any member of a large class of [2]

methodology of their preparation.


  • History 1
    • Vitalism 1.1
    • Modern classification 1.2
  • Classification 2
    • Natural compounds 2.1
    • Synthetic compounds 2.2
    • Biotechnology 2.3
  • Nomenclature 3
  • Databases 4
  • Structure determination 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8



The word organic is historical, dating to the 1st century. For many centuries, Western

Vitalism survived for a while even after the rise of modern

Modern classification

Even though vitalism has been discredited, scientific nomenclature retains the distinction between organic and inorganic compounds. The modern meaning of organic compound is any compound that contains a significant amount of carbon—even though many of the organic compounds known today have no connection to any substance found in living organisms.

There is no single "official" definition of an organic compound. Some textbooks define an organic compound as one that contains 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.[3]

Even the broader definition of "carbon-containing molecules" requires the exclusion of carbon-containing alloys (including inorganic.

The "C-H" definition excludes compounds that are historically and practically considered organic. Neither urea nor oxalic acid is organic by this definition, yet they were two key compounds in the vitalism debate. The

  • Organic Compounds Database

External links

  1. ^ From the definition of "organic compounds" are also excluded automatically the allotropes of carbon such as diamond and graphite, because they are formed by atoms of the same element, so they are simple substances, not compounds.
  2. ^ biochemistry. Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2004, p. 342. ISBN 0-534-39969-X
  3. ^ Morrison, Robert T.; Boyd, Robert N.; Boyd, Robert K. (1992). Organic Chemistry (6th ed.). Benjamin Cummings.  
  4. ^ "IUPAC Blue Book, Urea and Its Derivatives Rule C-971". Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  5. ^ "IUPAC Blue Book, Table 28(a) Carboxylic acids and related groups. Unsubstituted parent structures". Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  6. ^ S. A. Benner, K. G. Devine, L. N. Matveeva, D. H. Powell (2000). "The missing organic molecules on Mars".  
  7. ^ Ernö Pretsch, Philippe Bühlmann, Martin Badertscher (2009), Structure Determination of Organic Compounds (Fourth, Revised and Enlarged Edition). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


See also

Today, the main tools are proton and carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy, IR Spectroscopy, Mass spectrometry, UV/Vis Spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography.[7]

See Structure determination

Structure determination

There is a great number of more specialized databases for diverse branches of organic chemistry.

  • 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.
  • The SciFinder is offered.


The CAS nomenclature.


Several compounds are industrially manufactured utilizing the biochemistry of organisms such as bacteria and yeast. Two examples are biotechnologically engineered compounds were never present in nature in the first place.


Most polymers (a category that includes all plastics and rubbers), are organic synthetic or semi-synthetic compounds.

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.

Synthetic compounds

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.

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 more expensive to produce 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.

Natural compounds

Another distinction, based upon the size of organic compounds, distinguishes between small molecules and polymers.

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 phosphorus.


In summary, most carbon-containing compounds are organic, and almost all organic compounds contain at least a C-H bond or a C-C bond. A compound does not need to contain C-H bonds to be considered organic (e.g., urea), but many organic compounds do.

The "C-H bond-only" rule also leads to somewhat arbitrary divisions in sets of carbon-fluorine compounds, as, for example,


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