What is organic chemistry?
Organic chemistry is the chemistry of compounds that contain the element carbon.
o Organic compounds: compounds in living things
Organic chemicals affect virtually every facet of our lives, and for this reason, it
is important and useful to know something about them
Naturally occurring: compounds that can be isolated directly from
Synthetic: they are produced by chemists in the laboratory
o Inorganic compounds: compounds in nonliving things
Some representative organic molecules (three simple organic compounds):
o Methane: the simplest of all organic compounds, contain one carbon atom, and is a
hydrocarbon (contains only carbon and hydrogen)
Combustible in the presence of oxygen
Product of the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter by bacteria
o Ethanol: the alcohol present in beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages, is formed by
fermentation of sugar
Possibly the oldest example of organic synthesis
The ethanol produced in the lab is identical to the ethanol produced by
o Trichlorofluoromethane: a member of a class of molecules called chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs), which contain one or two carbon atoms and several halogens.
An unusual organic molecule that contains no hydrogen atoms
Has low molecular weight and is easily vaporized
Three complex organic molecules important for medications:
o Amoxicillin: one of the mostly widely used a