What is Organic Chemistry?

Organic chemistry is the branch of chemistry that involves the scientific study of organic compounds. This branch of chemistry primarily deals with the structure and chemical composition of organic compounds, the physical and chemical properties of organic compounds, and the chemical reactions undergone by these compounds. Advancements in the field of organic chemistry have made numerous contributions to human society, such as the synthesis of several drugs, polymers, and other natural products. Synthetic organic chemistry is an important application of organic chemistry that deals with the design and construction of organic compounds for practical purposes.

It is a vast science due to one key property exhibited by the element carbon, which is called carbon catenation. Carbon has the exceptional ability to form very stable bonds with other carbon atoms, giving it the ability to form stable molecules with relatively complex structures. Catenation is the ability of an element to form bonds with an atom of the same kind. Hence, the vastness of organic chemistry can be attributed to this property of carbon.

The importance of organic chemistry in the present age is as immense as it had been since its inception. It plays an important role in our everyday life because food, medicines, paper, clothes, soap, perfumes, etc are indispensable to us for proper living. The study of organic chemistry is important for chemists and pharmacists in synthesizing medicines for the alleviation of human suffering.


Classification of Organic Compounds

  1. Acyclic or Open Chain Compounds or Closed Chain Compounds: Organic compounds are classified as open-chain compounds and closed chain compounds in terms of the carbon chain. Also termed as Organic Compounds Acyclic or Open Chain or Aliphatic Compounds Cyclic or Closed Chain or Ring Compounds Alkanes Alkenes Alkynes
  2. Aromatic Compounds: Plants and micro-organisms have an exclusive route to benzene-ring compounds. The great majority of aromatic compounds in nature, therefore, are produced by plants and microorganisms, and animals are dependent upon plants for many aromatic compounds either directly or Indirectly.
  3. Heterocyclic Aromatic Compounds: In the twentieth century it is witnessed that the first inorganic heteroaromatic compound was produced in the laboratory. Some of these heterocyclic aromatic compounds are very important in biochemical processes, drugs, and agrochemicals.

Methods of Purification of Organic Compounds

  1. Simple crystallization: It is one of the most effective purification techniques for solids. Simple crystallization involves the selection of the solvent and preparation of the solution.
  2. Fractional crystallization: Fractional crystallization is used for the purification of a single substance contaminated with small quantities of impurities.
  3. Sublimation: Sublimation is an excellent method for purifying relatively volatile organic solids on scales ranging from a few milligrams to tens of grams.
  4. Simple distillation: It is the process of converting a liquid into its vapor, transferring the vapor to another place, and recovering the liquid by condensing the vapor.
  5. Fractional distillation: It is the separation procedure of a mixture into sections or fractions of its material. By heating them to a temperature at which one or more parts of the mixture vaporize, chemical compounds are isolated.
  6. Steam distillation: A steam distillation is simply a distillation in which steam is involved as a process component. Steam distillation and organic solvent extraction have both been widely used to extract compounds from spices.
  7. Azeotropic distillation: It is accomplished by adding to the liquid phase, a volatile third component that changes the volatility of one of the two components more than the other so that the components are separated by distillation.

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