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Organic and Inorganic Compounds Differences, History, Classification, Examples, Characteristics and Applications


Organic compounds

Organic compounds are defined as the compounds that contain carbon as one of their constituents whether it be in the solid, gaseous, or liquid state. The organic compounds have various theories where they are described, like structural formulas, space-filled models, and Lewis structures. Organic compounds are generally identified using the instrument mass spectra.

History of organic chemistry

Earlier, organic chemistry was seen as a branch of the natural processes that take place in a living organism. But in the early 1800s, Friedrich Wohler was the first human being to discover that organic compounds are the ones that are capable of getting synthesized from various minerals and also different non-organic materials that are present in a laboratory.


Organic compounds are mainly classified into two parts: Open chain compounds and cyclic compounds. Open chain compounds are further subdivided into two parts, i.e., straight-chained compounds and branched-chain compounds. Cyclic compounds are again categorized into two kinds: Homocyclic compounds and heterocyclic compounds. Homocyclic compounds are again divided into two types of forms: alicyclic compounds and aromatic compounds.

Examples of organic compounds

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Lipids
  • Nucleotides

Inorganic compounds

The part of chemistry that focuses upon compounds that lack carbon as one of their constituents is known as inorganic compounds. It is basically the opposite of the definition of organic compounds. The substances lack the bonding of carbon and hydrogen. Compounds like salts, chemical substances, and metals are inorganic compounds. Till now around 100000 inorganic compounds have been discovered.

Inorganic Chemistry: It is the study that focuses on the various properties, both chemical as well as physical behaviors. All the inorganic compounds are usually natural minerals or compounds that are geologically based. Most of them are metals.

Characteristics of inorganic compounds

Most of the inorganic compounds have the capacity of conducting electricity. When the inorganic compounds are in the solid-state, they are poor conductors of electricity while in a liquid state, the inorganic compounds are very good conductors of electricity. All the electrons, in this particular phase, move around freely. And this particular movement of electrons is termed electricity.

Ionic bonds are particularly available in inorganic compounds which keep them in very close proximity. Hence they are packed densely and contain high boiling as well as melting points. Another feature of inorganic compounds is colored.

Applications and examples of inorganic compounds

  • Water is an example that is abundantly available around us.
  • Pesticide is an example that is considered an inorganic compound.

Difference between organic and inorganic compounds

Organic compounds Inorganic compounds
These compounds are marked by the presence of carbons. These compounds lack the presence of carbons.
These compounds are inflammable and highly volatile. They are non-volatile as well as not inflammable.
They occur in three different states: solids, gases, and liquids. They are found only in the solid state.
Organic compounds are usually insoluble in water. They are insoluble in a few organic solvents. And are soluble in water.
These compounds mainly have carbon to hydrogen bonds. Here, the compounds lack carbon to hydrogen bonds.
Majorly seen in living organisms. Majorly found in non-living things.
Example: carbohydrates, lipids, etc. Example: minerals.


Chemistry deals with the occurrence of both organic and inorganic compounds. Organic compounds are the ones that are found in various phases and contain carbon in them. All the essential requirements and our body is made of organic compounds. Whereas inorganic compounds lack the presence of carbon and can only be found in the solid-state.

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