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Difference between organic compound and inorganic compound

One organic compound is all that it is based on carbon. Its bonds are covalent, carbon-carbon, or carbon-hydrogen. It is synthesized primarily by living things, but it can also be synthesized artificially. These compounds form the branch of organic chemistry.

One inorganic compound is all that it does not have carbon as its main element and in which no covalent bond between carbon and hydrogen occurs. The most common type of bond in this compound is ionic. These compounds form the branch of inorganic chemistry.

Organic compound

Inorganic compound


All that compound whose main element is carbon and has covalent bonds of carbon and hydrogen.

All that compound whose main element is not carbon, and which has no bonds between carbon and hydrogen.


  • In addition to carbon, hydrogen is an important element in the constitution.
  • It can be synthesized by living things.
  • Most do not dissolve in water.
  • Reactivity is slow.
  • High volatility and combustibility.
  • Low boiling and melting points.
  • Bad conductor of electricity.
  • Most of the known compounds are organic.
  • It is not synthesized by living things.
  • It is soluble in water or aqueous media.
  • Its reactivity is fast.
  • Low volatility and combustion.
  • High boiling and melting points.
  • Good conductor of electricity.
  • There are fewer inorganic compounds than organic ones.

Type of link

Covalent. Mostly ionic, and to a lesser extent covalent.
Examples Sugars, nucleic acids, alcohol, wood, proteins, lipids, hemoglobin, methane. Ammonia, water, baking soda and carbon dioxide.

What is an organic compound?

Wood, produced by trees, is an example of abundant organic compost.

An organic compound is a compound that has a main element is carbon, and has covalent bonds of carbon and hydrogen, or between carbon and carbon. Other components that may be part of this type of compound are oxygen and nitrogen.

Organic compounds are the elements studied by organic chemistry, and the rest of the compound elements studied by inorganic chemistry. Carbon is part of more than 90% of chemicals.

However, hydrogen is also an important element in this type of compound. This is bound to carbon and together they bind to other atoms such as nitrogen, phosphorus, boron, sulfur, halogens and oxygen, to form many other compounds.

Another of its characteristics is to be isomeric, which means that the same molecular formula can refer to more than one compound. They have different structures or properties, so their elements are distributed differently.

Characteristics of organic compounds

  • They are composed of carbon atoms, which produce carbon-carbon or carbon-hydrogen bonds.
  • Hydrogen is also an important element in the composition, in addition to oxygen and nitrogen.
  • Its bond is covalent, which means that the atoms that make it up share the electrons of the original elements.
  • They can be concatenated, thanks to their carbon atoms.
  • They can be synthesized by living things (biomolecules) or artificially.
  • Its bonds also attract other elements such as oxygen and nitrogen.
  • The vast majority do not dissolve in water.
  • They are highly volatile (combustible) and not very resistant to high temperatures.
  • Boiling and melting points are low.
  • They are bad conductors of electricity.
  • Its reactivity is slow.
  • They present isomerism.
  • Organic compounds (presence of carbon) represent the majority of known compounds.
  • Organic acids and bases are mild and have a lower dissolution in water.

Organic compounds and living things

These compounds are part of the composition of all living things and represent the largest amount of chemical elements that exist. They define the functions of organisms, so they constitute the “chemistry of life.” They are part of the processes and chemical reactions of organisms that allow cells to develop the functions that a being needs to live.

Until the early 19th century, organic compounds were considered to be found only in living things or to be produced exclusively by them. However, in 1823, the German chemist Friedrich Wöhler (1800-1882) conducted an experiment in which he succeeded in synthesizing urea, an organic compound, from an inorganic compound.

With this, the notion of “life force” was refuted, the idea of ​​which was that only living things had the ability to produce organic matter.

Organic biomolecules

Organic compounds that are synthesized by living things are known as organic biomolecules. These compounds allow the existence of life, and are grouped into nucleic acids, carbohydrates (lipids), lipids, proteins and vitamins.

However, there are also compounds that are not naturally synthesized and are artificially created by humans, as is the case with plastic.

Covalent bond of an organic compound

A covalent bond or atomic bond is a bond composed of a pair or more of electrons that two non-metallic atoms share. The nuclei of these electrons are attracted to each other, causing them to bond. The total energy of these atoms is less than the energy of other non-bonded atoms. These bonds occur between atoms of non-metallic elements that have similar electronegative values ​​and the covalence is greater if their electronegativity is low. A covalent bond can occur between carbon and carbon, or between carbon and hydrogen.

Thanks to the fact that organic compounds have covalent bonds, specifically those formed by carbon, these can also be concatenated. That is, when there is a covalent bond between carbon atoms, when combined, very strong chains are formed. As a result of concatenation, these strong, short chains produce highly resistant compounds, as in the case of a diamond.

Examples of organic compounds

  • Citric acid (C6H8O7)
  • Sugars (carbohydrates)
  • Nucleic acids
  • Acetylene (C2H2)
  • Petroleum and derivatives such as gasoline or vinyl
  • Wood and coal
  • Proteins
  • Lipids
  • Half (CH4)
  • Vitamin C (C6H8O6)
  • Hemoglobin

You may be interested to know the difference between Organic and Inorganic Chemistry.

What is an Inorganic Compound?

Water is one of the most common inorganic compounds.

An inorganic compound is any compound consisting of two or more chemical elements, which have no carbon or, if present, have no bonds between carbon and hydrogen.

Carbon is one of the key elements in the composition of organic elements, but it is not present in most inorganic compounds. However, there are compounds such as carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO).2) which are inorganic and do have carbon in their components.

In the case of hydrogen, this is an element found in many of the inorganic compounds (as in the case of water). However, no carbon-hydrogen bonds are present in the composition of these compounds.

They are very stable, withstanding high temperatures and are not very volatile and combustible. Reactions occur when they come in contact with other elements.

Characteristics of inorganic compounds

  • They are composed of all the elements except the combinations of carbon and hydrogen.
  • The prevailing bond is ionic.
  • They are soluble in water.
  • They are good conductors of electricity.
  • Low volatility and combustion.
  • Boiling point is high.
  • Its reactivity is fast.
  • They have no concatenation or isomerism.
  • It is present in a much smaller proportion than that of organic compounds.
  • They are less complex than organic compounds.
  • Inorganic compounds and living things

Inorganic compounds and living things

Inorganic compounds are also part of living things, although they do not produce or synthesize them. Their synthesis originates in geological systems or are artificially produced.

Their presence, however, is as important as that of organic compounds for the functioning of a living organism. For example, an inorganic compound such as water is vital for life and carbon dioxide (CO2) is also important for the life cycle of plants.

Ionic bonds of inorganic compounds

Inorganic compounds contain mostly ionic bonds. In these bonds, one of the elements is an electron donor and the other is an electron receptor, where each element is charged in opposite directions.

Unlike covalent bonds, the elements of which share electrons and have a low and uniform electronegative charge, in ionic bonds there is a wide difference between the electronegative charge of each. In addition, there is a transfer of electrons between the atoms that make them up.

They consist of a metal and a non-metal. The metal that transfers an electron is known as the cation, while the element that gains that electron is known as the anion. In addition, this type of bonding allows these compounds to withstand high temperatures and have high boiling points.

Types of inorganic compounds

Organic compounds are grouped according to these acids, bases, oxides and salts, in addition to other compounds.

  • Acids: they are compounds that, when dissolved, release hydrogen ions, have a bitter taste, are conductors of electricity, soluble in water, and, together with the bases, produce salt and water, etc.
  • Bases: are compounds capable of dissociating hydroxide ions, do not react with metals, and are slippery to the touch, etc.
  • Oxides: are compounds in which at least one element is oxygen. These are mainly classified into acidic (when they are formed from non-metals and are rich in oxygen), basic (formed from metals), neutral (formed from non-metals and poor in oxygen), among others.
  • Sales: they are ionic compounds, formed by cations and anions, they are solid, with high resistance to heat and conduct electricity in water. They are classified into basic salts (reactions between weak acids and strong bases), acids (reactions of strong acids and weak bases) and neutral (reactions between strong acids and strong bases).

Examples of inorganic compounds

  • Ammonia (NH3)
  • Baking soda (NaHCO3)
  • Water (H2O)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Calcium Oxide or Cal (CaO)
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)

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