Chemistry Net: Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry



The study of carbon-containing compounds and their properties and reactions is called organic chemistry. This branch of chemistry was originally limited to compounds produced by living organisms but has been broadened to include human-made substances such as synthetic fibers, plastics, artificial sweeteners, drugs that are products of industrial organic chemistry.

Originally, the distinction between inorganic and organic substances was based on whether a compound was produced by living systems. Until the early nineteenth century it was believed that organic compounds had some sort of "life force" and could be synthesized only by living organisms. This view was changed in 1828 when the German chemist Friedrich Wohler prepared urea from the inorganic salt ammonium cyanate by heating:


Fig. I.1:  Preparing urea in the laboratory


Urea, is a component of urine, so it is clearly an organic compound, yet it was synthesized in the laboratory as well as by living things.

Carbon has the unusual ability of bonding strongly to itself to form long chains or rings of carbon atoms. In addition, carbon forms strong bonds to other atoms such as hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur and the halogens. Because of these bonding properties, there are several million of carbon compounds and the number continues to grow rapidly.

Organic compounds such as rubber, plastics, fuel, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, detergent, coatings are all around us. They are important for our lifes and economic prosperity.



  1. R. Bruckner, “Advanced Organic Chemistry – Reaction Mechanisms”, 2nd Edition, Elsevier, 2002

  2. M.B. Smith & J. March “March’s Advanced Organic Chemistry”, 6th Edition, Wiley-Interscience, 2007

1 comment:

  1. urea on the basis of the three-electron bond:

    LC-N = 1.33 Å, LC-O = 1.27 Å (8)

    Multiplicity C−N = 1 Multiplicity C−N (L=1.33 Å) = 1.686
    Multiplicity C−O = 2 Multiplicity C−O (L=1.27 Å) = 1.486

    EC-N = 291.834 kj/mole ЕC-N (L = 1.33 Å) = 523.790 kj/mole
    EC-O = 728.538 kj/mole (for R2C=O) EC-O (L = 1.27 Å) = 496.940 kj/mole

    E1 = EC-O + 2EC-N = 1312.206 kj/mole E2 = EC-O + 2ЕC-N = 1544.520 kj/mole

    ΔE = E2 - E1 = 1544.520 kj/mole - 1312.206 kj/mole = 232.314 kj/mole

    p. 31. Structure of the benzene molecule on the basis of the three-electron bond.

    2. p. 81. Theory of three-electron bond in the four works with brief comments (Review).