Organic Compound vs Inorganic Compound
Organic and inorganic compounds are two different substance altogether. It was earlier thought that chemical compounds in living organisms were fundamentally different from those in non living things as it was believed that chemicals produced by living things had vitalism or breath of life. However, in 1823, German scientist Friedrich Wohler proved that it was untrue as he could prove similarities between compounds of non living things and living organisms. This paved the way for the distinction between organic and inorganic compounds which said that every compound discovered in living organisms contained the element carbon. Wohler showed that principles of chemistry apply well to compounds found in living organisms and in non living things. However, there are major differences between organic and inorganic compounds which are enumerated below.
|Differences between organic and inorganic compounds
• The number of organic compounds is much greater than inorganic compounds, and this is due to the special ability of carbon atom to join with other carbon atoms in rings, chains and other geometric forms. There are more than 10 million organic compounds known to us today.
• Organic compounds have much lower melting and boiling points than inorganic compounds though there are exceptions.
• Generally, organic compounds are less soluble in water than inorganic compounds.
• Organic compounds are more inflammable but are poorer conductors of heat and electricity than inorganic compounds.
• Organic compounds react at a slower rate and produce much more complex set of products than inorganic compounds.
• Organic compounds are derived from activities of living organisms while inorganic compounds are formed due to natural processes or are made in lab. However Wohler found exceptions to this.
• Because of the covalency of carbon, organic compounds are unable to make salts while inorganic compounds make salts.
• Organic compounds always contain carbon while inorganic compounds contain metal and other elements.
• Carbon-Hydrogen bonds are the characteristic of organic compounds while these are not found in inorganic compounds.
• Inorganic compounds contain metal atoms while they are never found in organic compounds.
• Inorganic compounds are mineral while organic compounds are biological in nature.
• Organic compounds are covalent while inorganic compounds are covalent as well as ionic in nature.
• There are long, complex chains of molecules in organic compounds whereas this is not a property of inorganic compounds.
• Organic compounds can be a source of energy for living things while inorganic compounds are catalysts.