8 Basic Properties of Organic Compounds

properties of organic compound

Properties Of Organic Compounds

Organic compounds are compounds which contain carbon as the main element and it is covalently attached to other elements such as hydrogen, sulfur, nitrogen etc. Generally, organic chemistry is also called ‘chemistry of carbon’.

In daily life, we come across different organic compounds such as alkane, alkene, alkyne, alcohol, ether, aldehyde, ketone, carboxylic acid etc. Here we are discussing some basic properties of these organic compounds.

Composition – All organic compounds contain carbon. The other elements may be hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur or halogens. Most of the organic compounds contain covalent linkages in their molecules.

Catenation – It is a linkage of an atom of same elements to form a long chain. Catenation occurs readily in carbon. The carbon has a tendency to form a bond with another carbon atom which gives rise to long chains, branched and rings is known as catenation.

Isomerism – It is property shown by most of the organic compounds. Compounds having a same molecular formula but different structural formulae are called isomers and property is known as isomerism. Due to different structures, chemical and physical properties differ.

Polymerization – A large number of small organic molecules add up to form a high molecular weight compound called polymer. According to Britannica, polymerization is defined as ‘ a single alkene molecule, called a monomer, can add to the double bond of another to give a product, called a dimer, having twice the molecular weight.

Functional group – An atom or a group of an atom that determines the chemical properties of organic compounds is called a functional group. -OH (hydroxyl group), -COOH (carboxylic group), -NH2 (amine) are some examples of the functional group.

Combustibility – Most of the organic compounds are combustible in nature. They are more combustible than inorganic because an organic compound contains carbon, hydrogen etc. elements, which are highly combustible.

For example – when ethene burns in the presence of oxygen, carbon dioxide and water are formed.

C2H4 + O2 → 2CO2 + 2H2O

When any hydrocarbon burns in excess air or oxygen, products are carbon dioxide and water as well as a large amount of heat. In the absence of excess oxygen, incomplete combustion also produces CO and C (carbon black). According to a paper published in analytical chemistry in March 1965, aromatic hydrocarbons produced during combustion of simple aliphatic fuels.

Solubility – There is a simple rule in general chemistry ‘like dissolves like’. Non-polar substances dissolve in non-polar solvents such as alkane where polar molecules dissolve in polar solvents like water or alcohol.

Melting points and boiling points – It depends on intermolecular bonding between molecules. Consider larger molecule, it will have a larger surface area for van der Waals interaction and hence melting point and boiling point will be higher.

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