Difference Between Organic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry vs Inorganic Chemistry

There was a time when organic chemistry was thought to be a study of compounds that made up living beings and scientists thought that chemical compounds in living organisms had a vitality not associated with compounds found in non living things. However, the situation underwent a drastic change when German scientist Wohler proved that compounds found in living things could be easily converted into compounds found in non living things. Today, the difference between organic and inorganic chemistry boils down to the presence of element carbon. Study of organic chemistry pertains to study of carbon compounds while inorganic chemistry is the study of all non carbon compounds.

It may seem like inorganic chemistry is thus very wide as it includes study of all non carbon compounds but the very fact that there are over ten times more carbonic compounds than non carbonic compounds makes a mockery of this statement. There are more than 10 million carbon compounds in our planet making organic chemistry much vaster than inorganic chemistry. This is because of the unique ability of carbon atoms to combine with other carbon atoms in long chains. It is not just chains; carbon atoms get linked together in all sorts of geometric arrangements and it is common for hundreds and even thousands of carbon atoms to join together in a single compound. This is one property that differentiates carbon from all other elements.

This versatility of carbon atom comes from possessing 4 valence electrons which allows it to make associations in all 4 directions. The bonds made by carbon atom are very strong because of its low atomic number. So the earlier distinction of organic chemistry as a study of compounds of living things is today outdated and organic chemistry has come down to mean study of carbon and its compounds. Carbon is an amazing element. It not only has the ability to make linkages in 4 directions, it has this ability to associate with all sorts of elements which makes possible creation of millions of carbon based compounds.

The most basic of carbon compounds are called hydrocarbons as they are made up of carbon and hydrogen only. There are saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, and they can be ring type or open chain hydrocarbons.

Inorganic chemistry deals with the reactions and synthesis of inorganic compounds. It finds wide ranging applications in all sorts of industries such as surfactants, medicine, fuel, agriculture, material science, and even space research. Inorganic chemistry consists of all ions and salts. Nearly all medicines are the result of research in inorganic chemistry. The study of all metals, alloys and their industrial applications forms the basis of inorganic chemistry. In short, inorganic chemistry is the backbone of all industries today as it allows scientists to understand the behavior of elements and their reactions to make the best use of them in industry and in our daily lives.

In brief:

Organic Chemistry vs Inorganic Chemistry

• In earlier times, organic chemistry was thought of study of compounds found in living organisms only. However this was found to be incorrect and today organic chemistry is the study of all carbon compounds only

• On the other hand, inorganic chemistry is the study of non carbon compounds

• Carbon compounds outnumber non carbon compound by ten to one and so its study is vaster in nature than inorganic compounds

• Inorganic chemistry nevertheless is very important for mankind as it involves all oxides, metals, alloys, salts and their reactions.