Origin of organic compounds

Carbon compounds are of two types: inorganic and organic. The compounds that have a mineral origin fall under the category of inorganic compounds. The compounds having plant or animal origin are classified as organic compounds. Lavoisier showed that nearly all compounds of plant origin are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. While those of animal origin also had other substances like nitrogen, sulphur or phosphorus. In spite of the fact that organic compounds were originally derived from living sources, today, most of these compounds can be synthesized.

Organic compounds were found to contain mainly hydrogen and carbon. Therefore, organic chemistry is defined as the study of hydrocarbons and their derivatives.

Study of organic chemistry is important for the simple reason that, organic compounds find applications in almost all aspects of our daily life.

The list given below illustrates the importance of organic compounds in our daily life:

Application of Organic Compounds in Daily Life

  • Foods [starch, sugar, fats, vitamins, proteins]
  • Fuels [wood, coal, alcohol, petrol]
  • Household and commercial articles [paper, soap, cosmetics, oils, paints]
  • Textile fabrics [cotton, wool, silk, linen, rayon, nylon]
  • Drugs and disinfectants [penicillin, quinine, aspirin, sulpha drugs]
  • Poisons [opium, strychnine]
  • Perfumes [vanillin, camphor]
  • Explosives [nitroglycerine, dynamite, picric acid, TNT]
  • Dyes [indigo, congo red, malachite green]
  • War gases [mustard gas, chloropicrin, lewisite]

In the subsequent topics, some of the very important organic compounds will be discussed.

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