Chemistry is the scientific discipline whose object of study is the composition of matter and the reactions that cause their interactions. Although there are many different types of chemistry depending on the subject of study of the branch in question, there is traditionally a distinction between organic and inorganic.
But, What differences are there not between the types of chemistry but directly between the types of compounds studied? In this article, we analyze the main differences between organic and inorganic compounds.
Before seeing what the differences are between them, we will briefly define each of the concepts.
First of all, by chemical compound is meant any material or product resulting from the interaction and combination of two or more elements. There are many types of chemical compounds that can be classified according to various criteria, such as what it is made of or how their binding occurs. Among them, one of the most basic divisions occurs between organic and inorganic compounds.
Organic compounds are all those compounds that are part of living things or remains, Being based on carbon and its combination with other specific elements.
As for inorganic compounds, it is those that are not living organismsWhile in them you can find any element of the periodic table (even carbon in some cases). In both cases, they are compounds present in nature, or synthesizable from it in the laboratory (in particular inorganic).
Differences between organic and inorganic compounds
Organic and inorganic materials have great similarities, but they also have distinctive elements that make them stand out. Here are some of the main differences.
1. Elements that generally configure each type of compound
One of the most marked and easily understood differences between organic and inorganic compounds is the type of elements that are part of them.
In the case of organic compounds, they are mainly based on carbon and its combination with other elements. They are generally composed of carbon and hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and / or phosphorus.
On the other hand, inorganic compounds can be made up of any element on the periodic table, although they are not carbon-based (although they may contain carbon in some cases, such as carbon monoxide. ).
2. Primary link type
As a rule, it is considered that all or almost all organic compounds are formed by the union of atoms through covalent bonds. Inorganic compounds, on the other hand, are dominated by ionic or metallic bonds, although other types of bonds can also occur.
Another difference between organic and inorganic compounds is the stability of the compounds. While inorganic compounds tend to be stable and do not undergo major changes unless more or less powerful chemical reactions are involved, organics destabilize and break down very easily.
While it is possible for inorganic compounds to form complex structures, they generally tend to maintain a simple organization. However, organic compounds tend to form long chains of varying complexity.
5. Heat resistance
Another difference between organic and inorganic compounds is the amount of heat required to produce weathering such as melting. Organic compounds are easily affected by temperature, requiring relatively low temperatures to melt. However, inorganic compounds tend to need a very high level of heat to enter the melting process (for example, water does not boil at one hundred degrees Celsius).
Dissolution of an organic compound is usually very complicated unless a specific solvent (such as an alcohol) is available, due to its covalent bonds. Yet most inorganic compounds, predominantly binding ionic types in them, are easily soluble.
7. Electric conduction
As a general rule, organic compounds tend not to conduct and insulate electricity, while inorganic compounds (especially metals) do so very easily.
Isomerism refers to the ability of compounds to appear with different chemical structures while sharing the same composition (for example, a different order in the chain that forms a compound will result in compounds with different characteristics). Although it can occur in both organic and inorganic compounds, it is much more prevalent in the former due to its tendency to create chains of bonded atoms.
9. Reaction rate
Chemical reactions in inorganic compounds tend to be rapid and do not require the intervention of elements other than reactants. In contrast, the chemical reactions of inorganic compounds have a variable rate and may require the presence of external elements to initiate or continue the reaction, for example in the form of energy.