Why are organic chemistry and carbon-based compounds important?

as if Robert Hazen, Ph.D., George Mason University

More than 90 percent of all known compounds in chemistry are carbon-based compounds. And, so far, organic chemistry is a major topic in chemistry today. The overall production of organic chemistry is vast. It includes all plastics, all colors, glues, medicines, used cosmetics and also fuels – fuel, kerosene, natural gas, heating oil.

3D Example of Amino Acids.
When nitrogen and carbon are combined, they can form amines. (Image: Christopher Bergstdt / Shutterstock)

Different types of bonding in chemistry

So let’s start by thinking about the carbon footprint for chemical stability. Chemical bonds reflect the tendency of atoms to attempt to obtain electron-filled shells. That is, two electrons, or eight more, giving you ten electrons, or more than eight, 18 electrons, and so on. Those are the filled shells, especially the stable ones.

Therefore, there is an ionic bond where an atom leaves an electron and receives a positive ion. Another atom takes that electron and becomes a negative ion. And ions are bound together by electrostatic forces. And in the metal deposit, all the atoms leave some electrons, form a negative sea of ​​electrons, and then there are positive charges intertwined, and there is a metal bond that holds the metal together.

And finally, a common combination of a few atoms sharing their electrons together so that each atom sees that magical number. Each of these mechanisms — receiving electrons, sharing electrons, giving electrons – can result in low energy.

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When carbon and oxygen bond

Image of a formaldehyde bottle on two gloves.
Formaldeide is a carbon-based compound made up of one carbon, one oxygen and two hydrogen. (Image: BeataGFX / Shutterstock)

Let’s look at oxygen, the eight elements. It requires two more electrons, so it often forms a double bond with carbon, splitting a total of four electrons. There are two lines between them and you can think of the letter C next to the letter O. And that double line, that equal signal, represents two pairs of electrons that share.

So the oxygen is completely satisfied, it had 8 electrons to begin with, to begin with, it sees two more, and now it has ten. Carbon is enough for two of the four electrons. So, for example, it can be combined with two additional hydrogenes. And in that case, you get a carbon-based compound called formaldehyde, CH2Oh.

Carbon has three neighbors. Oxygen divides into two electrons, each sharing one hydrogen. There are other large aldehydes that can only be produced by replacing hydrogen with CH3 Group. Now in carbon dioxide, co2, You have carbon with two neighboring oxygen.

Each of those oxygen shares two pairs of electrons. Oxygen atoms can also form ring compartments. They can create parts of chains. In fact, anything can satisfy the two electrons that need oxygen and the four that do require carbon.

Learn more about the incomparable ability of carbon bonds.

Examples of alcohol-based compounds in alcohol

Image of an alcohol bottle on a white wine cabinet
Ethanol is a type of alcoholic beverage made from two carbon dioxide. (Image: Diana Dimitrova / Shutterstock)

Now let’s look at another important group of atoms that contain oxygen, and that is the OH group. If you think of oxygen bound to a hydrogen, then hydrogen is completely satisfied. He now sees two electrons. Oxygen now has nine electrons; Requires one more. Thus, the OH group can form a single bond and share a pair of electrons with carbon.

Therefore, if you start methane, CH4, Take one hydrogen bond, and replace it with one bonded OH, and you form methanol CH3Oh, this is much easier than alcohol. By simply replacing one of the other hydrogenes with CH, you can again create larger and larger alcohols3.

For example, double-carbonated alcohol ethanol, c2H5Oh, and that is one of the most common alcoholic beverages and the most popular carbon-based compounds. You can replace it with methane, or you can replace one hydrogen with the OH group, two more hydrogenes, then you have a combination of formic acid, C, H, O in two bonds and OH. Formic acid, [CHO(OH)], The simplest of the most important carboxylic acids in our own metabolic process.

Learn more about the properties of materials.

Interaction of carbon-based compounds with other components

Let’s see how it goes with nitrogen, there are seven elements. It requires three more electrons, and so there are many different strategies here. Nitrogen can form three bonds with carbon. It can also create an NH group and form a double bond with carbon. Or you may have NH2 Connect as a group and form a bond with carbon. Those amino acids are amino acids.

Now, going to the current table, there are some other elements as well. For example, in life, phosphorus, which is immediately below nitrogen, and sulfur, which is immediately below oxygen, are also important components. Of course, sulfur works just as well as oxygen, with one important difference. Sulfur compounds have a familiar scent.

Phosphorus is lower than nitrogen, so phosphorus is very similar to nitrogen in organic chemistry. And here again, the rules of the game are simple. Carbon requires four more electrons; Hydrogen requires one more electron. Oxygen and sulfur require two more electrons. Nitrogen and phosphorus require three more electrons. And you can imagine any carbon-based compound in organic chemistry that meets those criteria, meets those needs.

Common questions about the importance of organic chemistry and carbon-based compounds

Q: What happens when carbon is in contact with oxygen in some cases?

Carbon When connected, it can sometimes form a double bond with oxygen. In that case, carbon can be combined with two additional hydrogen to form a new one Carbon-based composites It is called formaldehyde. The formaldehyde chemical formula is CH2Oh.

Q: How is methanol formed?

To form methanol (A Carbon-based composites), Methane molecule and OH group are required. Methane, CH4, To take one of the hydrogen atoms and replace it with an OH group to create a chemical formula CH3Oh.

Q: Can carbon be combined with other substances?

Carbon It can be associated with many of the elements in the periodic table Carbon-based compounds. For example, carbon combines nitrogen and hydrogen to form amino acids. Amino acids are used in the formation of amino acids.

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