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Encyclopedia > Organic compounds

An organic compound is any of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon, with exception of carbides, carbonates and carbon oxides. Organic compounds are studied in organic chemistry; many of them, such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (sugars), are also of prime importance in biochemistry.

Some of the classes of organic compounds include aliphatic compounds, chains of carbon which may be modified by functional groups; aromatic hydrocarbons, compounds containing one or more benzene rings; heterocyclic compounds which include non-carbon atoms as part of a ring structure; and polymers, which are long chains of repeating groups.

The dividing line between organic and inorganic is somewhat controversial and historically arbitrary, but generally speaking, organic compounds have carbon-hydrogen bonds, and inorganic compounds do not. Thus carbonic acid is inorganic, whereas formic acid, the first fatty acid, is organic, although it could as well be called "carbonous acid" and its anhydride, carbon monoxide, is inorganic.

The name "organic" is a historical name, dating back to 19th century, when it was believed that organic compounds could only be synthesised in living organisms through vis vitalis - the "force of life".

Most pure organic compounds are artificially produced. Ironically the term "organic" is also used to describe products produced without artificial chemicals. See organic production.

See also organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry of carbon.

See list of compounds for a list of all compounds currently in Wikipedia.

  Results from FactBites:
FAQ (1709 words)
Organic compounds, depending on their properties, are able to partition between the two liquid phases and into the gas phase.
First, if the organic compounds that you want are in the public library (these are the ones that are always present in the drop-down box on the Available Compounds page) then first follow the instructions given in answer to question 2 in the section above.
The volatility of the compound expressed as a vapour pressure or Henry's law constant, its solubility in water with respect to the solid compound or hydrate, dissociation constants (if the compound is an acid), and how its activity coefficients in the liquid phase(s) are calculated.
Organic compound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (277 words)
An organic compound is any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon, with the exception of carbides, carbonates, carbon oxides and elementary carbon.
The study of organic compounds is termed organic chemistry, and what with it being such a vast collection of chemicals (over half of all known chemical compounds), systems have been devised to classify organic compounds.
The theory that organic compounds were fundamentally different than those that were "inorganic", that is, not synthesized through a life-force, was disproven with the synthesis of urea, an organic compound, from potassium cyanate and ammonium sulfate by Friedrich Wöhler.
  More results at FactBites »



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