Introduction to Organic Compounds

The branch of chemistry that deals with the study of the study of carbon and its derivative is called organic chemistry.

In chemistry there are two fundamental classes of chemical compounds on the basis of origin. They are organic and inorganic compounds.

Inorganic compounds: Those organic compounds which are obtained from non-living sources are called inorganic compounds. Example: Rock, minerals etc.

Organic compounds: Those organic compounds which are obtained from living sources such as plants and animals etc are called organic compounds.

Origin of organic compounds:

In the earlier days, it was believed that organic compounds could be produced only by living organism. Berzelius proposed that there is a natural force inside the body of living plants and organism which can generate organic compounds.  This theory was called as vital force theory. As this concept was prevailing in chemical world, no efforts were made to produce organic compounds in the laboratory.

But, with the growing research in organic chemistry, German chemist Friedrich Wholer synthesized an organic compound in laboratory for the first time in the world. The compound was urea. He prepared urea by reacting ammonium sulphate  and potassium cyanide as given below.

$$\ce{$\underset{\text{Ammonium sulphate}}{\ce{(NH4)2SO4}}$ +$\underset{\text{Potassium cyanide}}{\ce{2KCNO}}$ ->[\Delta]$\underset{\text{Ammonium cyanide}}{\ce{2NH4CNO}}$ + K2SO4}$$


After then, more and more organic compounds were synthesized in the laboratory by artificial medium. There are more than five millions of organic compounds synthesized by artificial and natural medium till today. Due to the extensive application of organic compounds, more and more research is going on in organic chemistry.

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