Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

6: Properties of Organic Compounds

  • Page ID
    206837
  • Hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and a number of other elements also bond strongly to carbon, and a tremendous variety of compounds can result. In the early days of chemistry such compounds were obtained from plants or animals rather than being synthesized by chemists, and so they came to be known as organic compounds. This distinguished them from the inorganic compounds available from nonliving portions of the earth’s surface. Today literally millions of carbon compounds can be synthesized in laboratories, and so this historical distinction is no longer valid. Nevertheless, the study of carbon compounds is still referred to as organic chemistry.

    • 6.1: Prelude to Organic Compounds
      Hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and a number of other elements also bond strongly to carbon, and a tremendous variety of compounds can result. In the early days of chemistry such compounds were obtained from plants or animals rather than being synthesized by chemists, and so they came to be known as organic compounds. This distinguished them from the inorganic compounds available from nonliving portions of the earth’s surface.
    • 6.2: Organic Compounds- Hydrocarbons
      The hydrocarbons contain only hydrogen and carbon. They provide the simplest examples of how catenation, combined with carbon’s valence of 4, gives rise to a tremendous variety of molecular structures, even with only two elements involved
    • 6.3: Alkanes
      Most of the hydrocarbons in petroleum belong to a family of compounds called the alkanes, in which all carbon atoms are linked by single bonds.
    • 6.4: Cycloalkanes
      Cycloalkanes are characterized by a ring of carbon atoms.
    • 6.5: Properties of Alkanes
    • 6.6: Organic Compounds-Some Additional Classes

    Contributors

    • Was this article helpful?