Introduction to Organic Chemistry

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Organic chemistry is the branch of chemistry that deals with carbon and hydrogen atoms chemistry. The organic chemistry has added to it other branches such as nitrogen containing organic compounds and oxygen containing organic compounds and sulfur and selenium and other atoms that were incorporated into organic compounds.

The most basic organic compound is methane which is an organic gas that is used as fuel. This compound has the following structure CH4, namely a carbon atom attached to four hydrogen atoms. Organic compounds are divided according to main functional group which distinguishes the compound from other compounds.

For example there are hydrocarbons in which the typical example is methane. These compounds are relatively inert in organic reactions, although they are combustible. The reason hydrocarbons are relatively inert is that the carbon-hydrogen bond is not polarized or activated to make a reaction. On the other hand if we add to the hydrocarbon an atom which is polar such as oxygen or nitrogen such as amines and alcohols then these compounds cease to be inert and we observe a higher activity than hydrocarbons.

Another reason why hydrocarbons are inert is that they are saturated, namely they are in a reduced form and don't have double bonds. Double bonds or triple bonds activate hydrocarbons because they are unsaturated with hydrogens and hydrogen molecules can add to double bonds and triple bonds compounds of carbon easily. Ethers are organic compounds that have a single bond between oxygen and carbon.

Ethers are inert to bases such as lewis base but they are sensitive to acids such as lewis acids. Oxygen has two lone pairs on it which can use them as a lewis base. Alcohols are carbon organic compounds that bear -OH terminal group. As was mentioned C-O bond is polarized and therefor activated, mainly the activity is due to the lone pair on the oxygen.

Alcohols can react with bases and acids as well. The part of the alcohol that reacts with bases is the H- atom in the OH group of the alcohol. This is so because OH bond in polarized and activated for reaction. acids can react with alcohols through the lone pairs on the oxygen atom.

Esters are other active organic compounds. They are more active than hydrocarbons. They contain carbon oxygen double bond which is even more polarized that carbon oxygen single bond. In addition to the double bond the same carbon is still bonded to another oxygen by a single bond. As was mentioned esters are reactive compounds and can undergo reactions using a base or an acid to form carboxylic acids.

In addition to bases and acids that can react with activated organic compounds, there is also so called nucleophiles which are carbon compounds or other charged atoms, which can react with organic compounds to for longer chains of carbon atoms. Nucleophilicity means affinity for carbons while basicity means affinity for hydrogen atoms.

Ketones are organic compounds which similar to esters in that the have a carbon oxygen double bond but lacks the other single bond between the carbon and the other oxygen. Ketones are less reactive than esters but still more reactive that hydrocarbons. They react primarily by addition reactions that is to say they add other fragmets of carbon orother compounds to it.

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