Definition of organic

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by synthesizer-patel, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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    Its been a long while since I studied chemistry - however I seem to recall that the word organic simply means a compound that contains carbon (with a couple of exceptions like CO2 and carbonates - while they contain carbon they are not classed as organic).

    Certainly I remember the term Organic Chemistry being defined to me as The Chemistry of Carbon.

    So the term Organic has nothing necessarily to do with biological processes at all.

    Is that right?
     
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  3. draqon Banned Banned

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    thats how I perceived it too
     
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  5. Zardozi Isvara.... . 1S Evil_Lau Registered Senior Member

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    The biological process can be asexual by means of chemistry of antibiotics that make up the organic substance
     
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  7. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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    Eh?
     
  8. DeepThought Banned Banned

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    Slightly mushy?
     
  9. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    I seem to recall that the definition of organic chemistry is the study of the chemistry of molecules that have a carbon backbone. This is subtly but significantly different to what you are saying, ie. molecules that simply contain carbon atoms.

    So, whilst all life (as we know it) revolves around molecules that have carbon backbones, organic chemistry doesn’t necessarily have to involve biological processes as organic molecules can be made synthetically.
     
  10. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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    OK - so that would explain why carbonates and CO2 are not considered organic - despite the fact that they can be biogenic.

    Indeed, synthetically or through other abiogenic processes.

    Thanks for that, I thought I was sort on the right lines but was missing the subtleties - thanks for pointing them out
     
  11. Forceman May the force be with you Registered Senior Member

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    Organic Chemistry

    Organic Chemistry deals with the structrure, interaction, uses, and significance of carbon-based compounds, which includes: hydrocarbons, alchohols, and many other polymers and monomers.
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The dictionaries are divided on the definition, presumably because science is also. However, historically, "organic" only referred to compounds that played a role in biological processes. Today the definition is being expanded to include all carbon compounds. You will probably encounter both definitions but clearly the latter will win out eventually.

    What are we going to do the first time we land on a planet with silicon-based life?

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  13. OilIsMastery Banned Banned

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    I've come to learn that organic simply means carbon. This is based on the false biological prejudice that carbon is only associated with living organisms.
     

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