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Saturday, 11 April 2020

Facts about Organic Chemistry


The branch of chemistry which deals with the study of hydrocarbons and their derivatives is called organic chemistry.

The simplest organic compounds made up only carbon and hydrogen are known as hydrocarbons.

The saturated hydrocarbons (carbon atoms linked together by single bonds) are comparatively stable to usual chemical reagents. They are known as paraffins (Alkanes).

Carbon atoms linked together by multiple bonds are known as unsaturated hydrocarbons (Alkenes, Alkynes).


Alkanes are represented by the general formula CnH2n+1.

Methane (CH4) is the first member of alkane series.
Methane is called wet-land gas.


Alkenes are represented by the general formula CnH2n.

They are unsaturated hydrocarbons and known as Olefins.

The simplest alkene is ethylene or etfiene (C2H4).


They are represented by CnH2n -2.

They are unsaturated hydrocarbons.

The simplest alkyne is acetylene (C2H2).


Alcohols are compound which contain one or more hydroxyl groups.

Methyl alcohol (CH3OH) is called wood spirit.

Ethyl alcohol (C2H5OH) is called grain alcohol. It is used in preparation of various beverages.

Ethyl alcohol containing 5 to 10% methyl alcohol is called methylated spirit (denatured spirit).

100% ethanol is called absolute alcohol.

Mixture of ethyl alcohol (95.87%) and water (4.13%) is known as rectified spirit.

Aldehydes & Ketones

Compounds in which oxygen atom is attached to a primary carbon atom, is known as an aldehyde. If the oxygen atom is attached to a secondary carbon, the compound is known as a ketone.

Aldehydes are known as alkanals and ketones are known as alkanones.

The general formula of aldehydes is RCHO while that of ketones is RCOR.

The chemical used for preserving biological specimens is formaldehyde.

Alkyl halides

The halogen atom attached to a saturated carbon atom are known as alkyl halides.
eg: Methyl chloride (chloromethane), ethyl chloride (chloroethane).

The halogen atom attached to an aromatic ring directly are known as aryl halides.

Carboxylic acids

Combination of carbonyl and hydroxyl group is a carbonylic function and has acidic properties.

Simple carboxylic acids are formic acid, acetic acid etc.

Nitro compounds

Nitro derivatives of corresponding alkanes are known as nitro alkanes.
eg: nitromethane, nitroethane etc.

What do you mean by BOD ?

Ans: Biological oxygen demand (BOO) is defined as the amount of dissolved oxygen required for the oxidation of organic matter by aquatic micro-organisms under aerobic conditions at 20°C for a period of 5 days. Clean water would have BOD value less than 5 ppm whereas highly polluted water could have a BOD value of 17 ppm or more.


Amines are derivatives of ammonia in which one or more of the hydrogen atoms of ammonia have been replaced by alkyl groups.

Amines are classified as primary, secondary & tertiary amines.


Simplest organic compounds of carbon and hydrogen

It is divided into Saturated and Unsaturated.

In Saturated Hydrocarbons, Carbon atoms linked together by single bonds. Example is Alkanes (Paraffins).

The chemical formula of Alkanes is CnH2n+2. Eg: Methane

In Unsaturated Carbon, atoms linked together by multiple bonds. It is divided into Alkenes (Olefins)and Alkynes.

The chemical formula of Alkenes is CnH2n. Eg: Ethene

The chemical formula of Alkynes is CnH2n-2. Eg: Acetylene


Wood spirit - Methyl alcohol

Crain alcohol - Ethyl alcohol

Absolute alcohol - 100% Ethyl alcohol

Methylated spirit (Denatured spirit) - Ethyl alcohol + 5 to 10% Methyl alcohol

Rectified spirit - Ethyl alcohol (95.87%) + Water (4.12%)


Acid amides are the derivations of carboxylic acid obtained by the replacement of hydroxyl group of COOH by amino group, eg: formamide, acetamide etc.


Esters are derived from the reaction between an acid and an alcohol with the elimination of water.

Esters (Smells)

Smell of Pineapple - Ethyl Butarate
Smell of Banana - Amyl Acetate
Smell of Jasmine - Benzyl Acetate
Smell of Orange - Octyl Acetate
Smell of Honey - Methyl Phenyl Acetate
Smell of Apple - Butyl Acetate

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