Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry is the the branch of chemistry concerned with compounds of carbon, found originally in living organisms.

In short, organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon containing compounds.

General terms in Organic Chemistry

Hydrocarbon: Compounds which ONLY contain carbon and hydrogen atoms

Saturated Compounds: Compounds with a Carbon to Carbon SINGLE bond

Unsaturate Compounds: Compounds with a Carbon to Carbon DOUBLE bond

Molecular Formulae:  The number of atoms of each element present in one molecule of a substance

Display Formulae: Shows all the covalent bonds in a molecule with individual lines

Structural Formulae: Shows how the atom is joined

Structural Isomers: A compound which has the same molecular formulae but different structual formulae

Hydrocarbons: compounds which contain carbon and hydrogen ONLY

Saturated hydrocarbons: alkanes are saturated hydrocarbons. These compounds contain only a single bond between the carbon atoms.

Unsaturated hydrocarbons: alkenes (and alkynes) are unsaturated hydrocarbons. These compounds contain more than two bonds between the carbon atoms.

Homologous series: a ‘family’ of organic compounds which:

  • Have the same general formula
  • Have similar chemical properties
  • Show a general increase in physical properties such as melting point and boiling point.

Functional group: the atom or the group of atoms responsible for the characteristic reactions of a compound.

Isomerism: the property shown by molecules which have the same molecular formula, but different structural arrangements.

Isomers: compounds which have the same molecular formula, but different structural formula.

Alkanes, alkenes, alcohols and carboxylic acids

Most of the simple organic compounds can be broadly classified into the following homologous groups:

Alkanes: the names of hydrocarbons in this group end with the suffix ‘ane’; for example: methane, ethane, propane, etc.

Alkenes: the names of hydrocarbons in this group end with the suffix ‘ene’; for example: ethene, propene, butene, etc.

Alcohols: the names of hydrocarbons in this group end with the suffix ‘anol’; for example: methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol, etc.

Carboxylic acids: the names of hydrocarbons in this group end with the suffix ‘anoic acid’; for example: methanoic acid, ethanoic acid, propanoic acid, butanoic acid, etc.

 

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