Organic Chemistry is a basic core science that includes the study of the compounds of carbon. In our surroundings, most of the things are made up of organic molecules. For example, the food we eat is made up of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, medicines we take for disease, colors for clothes, various polymers, petrol for vehicles, and LPG for cooking food are all organic compounds. Our life is dependent on organic molecules. Even our genetic material, DNA and RNA, comprises organic molecules. Petroleum and coal are two major natural sources of simple organic compounds. Larger and more complicated compounds can be synthesized using simple compounds as building blocks. Organic chemistry is fundamental to biochemistry and medicinal chemistry. We can subdivide organic chemistry into the following topics:

  • Structure and Properties of Organic Compounds
  • Alkanes (Free Radical Substitution)
  • Stereochemistry (Stereoisomers)
  • Alkyl Halides (Nucleophilic Aliphatic Substitution)
  • Alcohol and Ethers
  • Role of Solvents
  • Alkenes (Elimination & Electrophilic and Free Radical Addition)
  • Stereoselective and Stereospecific Reactions
  • Dienes (Conjugation and Resonance)
  • Alkynes
  • Cyclic Aliphatic Compounds
  • Aromaticity (Benzene)
  • Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution
  • Aromatic-Aliphatic Compounds (Arenes and Their Derivatives)
  • Spectroscopy and Structure (IR, NMR, CMR, and Mass Spectroscopy)
  • Aldehydes and Ketones (Nucleophilic Addition)
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Functional Derivatives of Carboxylic Acids (Nucleophilic Acyl Substitution)
  • Carbanions I (Aldol and Claisen Condensation)
  • Carbanions II (Malonic Ester and Acetoacetic Ester synthesis)
  • Amines
  • Phenols
  • Aryl Halides (Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution)
  • α,β-Unsaturated Carbonyl Compounds (Conjugate Addition)
  • Molecular Orbitals (Orbital Symmetry)
  • Symphoria (Neighboring Group Effects)
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Macromolecules (Polymers and Polymerization)
  • Lipids (Fats and Steroids)
  • Carbohydrates (Monosaccharides, Disaccharides, and Polysaccharides)
  • Proteins and Nucleic Acids (Molecular Biology)

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Organic Chemistry: A Review

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Initially, chemical compounds were divided into two categories, organic and inorganic, based on their source of generation. Organic compounds were those obtained from living organisms like animals and plants; Inorganic compounds were those obtained from mineral (non-living) sources.

Until 1850, chemists believed organic compounds originate from living organisms and could not be synthesized from inorganic compounds. Today, although carbon compounds can be isolated from plants and animal sources, as well as these can be synthesized in the laboratory. These organic compounds are generally synthesized from other organic compounds and sometimes from inorganic substances like carbonate, cyanide, etc. But even after such development of science, it was convenient to keep the name organic to describe these carbon compounds.

Petroleum and coal (fossil fuels) are two natural resources for organic compounds. Now a day’s, petroleum is majorly consumed for power and energy supply rather than for making organic chemicals. However, other power sources, like solar, wind, and nuclear energy, are also available. But we are consuming organic material “Petroleum” at a very fast rate compared to other sources.

This high consumption generates a question: What carbon element has so special that it is so useful compared to other periodic table elements? The number of compounds having carbon is so huge that these have to divide into families and subfamilies. But no other periodic table element has such a huge number of compounds.

The most striking reason behind it is that carbon atoms can attach themselves to a large extent which is not possible for other atoms of the periodic table. The great thing about organic compounds is that slight change in carbon and hydrogen makes different compound with different chemical and physical properties.

Finally, we can say that our life is completely depended on and surrounded by organic molecules. Medicines, dyes, paper, ink, paints, plastics, gasoline, rubber, cholesterol, lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, DNA, RNA, and genes comprise organic molecules.