Organic Chemistry

Chemistry has been called the science of what things are. Its intent is the exploration of the nature of the materials that fabricate our physical environment, why they hold the different properties that depict them, how their atomic structure may be fathomed, and how they may be manipulated and changed.

Although organic reactions have been conducted by man since the discovery of fire, the science of Organic chemistry did not develop until the turn of the eighteenth century, mainly in France at first, then in Germany, later on in England. By far the largest variety of materials that bombard us are made up of organic elements. The beginning of the Ninetieth century was also the dawn of chemistry, all organic substances were understood as all being materials produced by living organisms: wood, bone, cloth, food, medicines, and the complex substances that configure the human body. Inorganic material was believed to come from the Earth: salt, metals, and rock, just to name a few.
Because of the humans wonder of natural life, organic materials were believed to possess an enigmatic Vital Force. Thus organic chemistry was separated from inorganic chemistry, and it became its own field of science. By the turn of the Nineteenth the Vital Force theory was immensely discredited, but this branch of science still stayed separated from inorganic chemistry. Back when Organic chemistry was the chemistry of living matter, Professor Wohler succeeded in synthesizing in the laboratory an organic compound previously observed in living tissue as Urea. Professor Wohler made this organic compound from non-living chemical substance, Ammonium Cyanate. He evaporated a solution of Ammonium Cyanate to produce Urea. Thus rendering the Vital Force theory to be with flaws. Other famous experiments proved the vitalism theory was wrong. In 1845 Kolbe synthesized acetic acid, the chief component in vinegar, in a flow of reactions starting with Carbon, the experiment is demonstrated better defined since acetic acid (C6H4O2) is a carbon-carbon bond. The theory of vitalism, like many other scientific theories, disappeared slowly under the weight of accumulated evidence rather than as a consequence of any one brilliant and enlightening experiment.
Structural theory, which developed in the 1860s, started the second major period of growth in the organic chemistry field. The development of a detailed picture, by using pure reasoning of both atomic organization and the shapes of molecules stands as a great milestone of the development of human intellect. At almost the same point in time, Kekule in Germany, and Couper of Scotland suggested that atoms in molecules are fused together by bonds. Their theory was that every atom is distinguished by having the same number of bond availability or valence number, where ever that particular atom appears in any compound. The main notability of organic compounds is having strong carbon to carbon bonds. This was recognized in the theory, and was used to help understand large molecules, possessing many bonded carbon atoms. Carbon is the cement that holds their molecules together. So far, this theory has gone through rigorous testing, and has not been proven inadequate to this day, as of now it is a law.
Kekule and Coupers theory was not all without fault; it is suprising that they did not recognize atoms as three-dimensional objects if they were to be understood as true particles of matter in space. It was not until 1875 when vant Hoff and LeBel proposed their hypothesis of compounds and atoms taking up space. Their hypothesis went as follows: Four bonds of carbon were located at equal angles to each other in space, this would be a rectangular tetrahedron. Immense amounts of proof have been supplied to support this theory, but is not universally accepted. It is believed today that this hypothesis is pure nonsense, proving that vant Hoff and LeBel were misdirected. It goes to show science is not always a constant law, theories, and even laws can be proved wrong. This Hypothesis was no exception; science can adapt to the world around it.After all, the mission statement of science is the attempt to understand the world around you, and without change there is no growth.
The structural theory is not only a focal point of organic chemistry, but an amazingly simple idea. It states that by grasping that each carbon atom to form four bonds, tetrahedrally arranged in space, we are able to map the architecture of even the most complex molecules. Hence, even though the molecules are too minuscule to be seen in most powerful, cutting edge, electron microscopes. Scientists are still able to possess a clear understanding of how a molecule is constructed. Although the atoms may have minor different physical characteristics than scientists expected such as, carbon atom being an elliptical shape, or the bonds may not line up in a compound as neatly as we envisioned them. Nevertheless, the truth of their basic physical architectural hypothesis has been substantiated literally millions of times by successful outcome of prediction. The power of the theory is demonstrated by the statement that there has been no chemical observation that cannot be basically understood by structural theory. Finally, although structural logic is extremely rigorous, it involves no mathematics. Unlike most sciences of equal complexity, much of organic chemistry is conducted without the use of formal math beyond elementary levels.
The third and presently used theory in the history of organic chemistry ends with the description of chemical bonds as electron pairs, Lewis came up with this in 1917. Although a great amount of chemical reactions were already known and in active use to synthesize organic compounds into other compounds, only with this understanding of the nature of a chemical bond did a clear reason of the nature an mechanism of chemical reactions begin to appear. This will be clear when one realizes that the transformation of one molecule to another, a chemical reaction, requires the breaking of some bonds and the making of others. This process could not be understood until one knew what a bond is. Thus if the nineteenth century was devoted to unraveling the fixed structures of molecules, the twentieth century will be devoted to the study of their transformations.

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The study of science and more specifically the study of organic chemistry is an on going affair. In the scientific community one never rests, there is a continual stream of experimentation and the desire to explore new realms. The cutting edge in science is grounded in the medical field. How can we manipulate genetic codes the building blocks of life? The things we have learned over the years are allowing us to build those bridges to the future, a future that might see an improvement in the human condition by way of organic chemistry.

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Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry Organic compounds are covalently bonded compounds containing carbon, excluding carbonates and oxides. Carbon atoms are unique because of their ability to bond by catenation, which is forming long chains and rings from the covalent binding of an element to itself. Besides bonding with itself, carbon atoms are able to bind to elements with similar electronegativities. Organic compounds consist of carbon and these other elements. Hydrocarbons are the simplest organic compounds, composed of only carbon and hydrogen. Saturated hydrocarbons are hydrocarbons in which each carbon atom in the molecule forms four single covalent bonds with other atoms. Hydrocarbons that contain only single bonds are alkanes.

The boiling point for alkanes increases with increasing molecular mass. The carbon-hydrogen bonds of alkanes are nonpolar and the only forces of attraction between nonpolar molecules are weak intermolecular forces. Methane, ethane, propane, and butane are all gases at room temperature. Pentane, octane, and decane are all liquids at room temperature. Heptadecane and eicosane are solids are room temperature. Cycloalkanes are alkanes in which the carbon atoms are arranged in a ring, or cyclic, structure.

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In fractional distillation, components of a mixture are separated on the basis of boiling point, by condensation of vapor in a fractionating column. The octane rating of a fuel is a measure of its burning efficiency and its antiknock properties. The octane rating scale is based on mixtures of 2,2,4-trimethylpentane, isooctane. Pure 2,2,4-trimethypentane is very resistant to knocking and is assigned an octane number of 100. Pure heptane has an octane number of 0 and burns with a lot of knocking. Increasing the percentage of branched-chain alkanes in gasoline is one way to increase octane rating. Unsaturated hydrocarbons are hydrocarbons in which not all carbon atoms have four single covalent bonds. Alkenes are hydrocarbons that contain double covalent bonds. Alkenes are nonpolar and show trends in properties similar to those of alkanes in boiling points and physical states.

-farnesene has 15 carbon atoms and 4 double bonds. It is solid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. It is found in the natural wax covering of apples. Ethene is the hydrocarbon commercially produced in the greatest quantity in the United States. It is used in the synthesis of many plastics and commercially important alcohols. Ethene is also an important plant hormone. Hydrocarbons with triple covalent bonds are alkynes.

This triple bond requires that the simplest alkyne has two carbon atoms. Alkynes, as with other hydrocarbons, exhibit the same trends in boiling points and physical state and are nonpolar. The smallest alkyne, ethyne, is a gas. The combustion of ethyne when it is mixed with pure oxygen produces the intense heat of welding torches. The common name of ethyne is acetylene, and these welding torches are commonly called oxyacetylene torches. Aromatic hydrocarbons are hydrocarbons with six-membered carbon rings and delocalized electrons.

Benzene is the primary aromatic hydrocarbon. Benzene rings are chemically very stable, a property that can be explained by the concept of delocalized electrons. Therefore, aromatic hydrocarbons are less reactive than alkenes and alkynes are. Benzene, in the past, was used as a nonpolar solvent because of this stability. However, benzene is both a poison and a carcinogen.

It is nonpolar and has limited solubility in water. Another aromatic hydrocarbon, 3,4-benzpyrene, is found in coal tar, tar from cigarette smoke, and soot in heavily polluted urban areas. Shown from studies, this compound is capable of causing cancer. Alcohols are organic compounds that contain one or more hydroxyl groups. The general formula for a class of organic compounds consists of the functional group and the letter R, which stands for the rest of the molecule.

The general formula for alcohols is R-OH. Formulas for some alcohols and alkanes are listed below .. Methanol Butane Ethanol Ethane 1-Propanol Propane Alcohols are sometimes used today as alternative fuels and as octane enhancers in fuel for automobiles. Ethanol is combined with gasoline, for example, in a one-to-nine ratio to produce gasohol. All simple alcohols are poisonous to some extent.

When ethanol is consumed, it is broken down by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. Other simple alcohols are attacked by alcohol dehydrogenase more slowly, making these alcohols more toxic then ethanol. For example, methanol, or wood alcohol, is converted to formaldehyde and formic acid, both of which are toxic. Toxic effects of methanol include damage to the optic nerve, coma, and death. Alkylhalides are organic compounds in which one or more halogen atoms-flourine, chlorine, bromine, or iodine-are substituted for one or more hydrogen atoms in a hydrocarbon. Because -X is often used to represent any halogen, an alkyl halide may be represented by the general formula R-X.

The formula for trichlorofluoromethane is: The released chlorine atoms attack molecules of ozone (O3) found in the upper atmosphere. The ozone is converted to diatomic oxygen. This makes it possible for a single chlorine atom to destroy thousands of ozone molecules. Another alkyl halide is tetrafluoroethene. It is joined in long chains to make a material with the trade name Teflon.

Its formula is C2F4. Ethers are organic compounds in which two hydrocarbons groups are bonded to the same atom of oxygen. They can be represented by the general formula R-O-R’. Methyl-tertiary-butyl (MTBE) ether is the most widely used ether. It is another gasoline octane enhancer.

Aldehydes are organic compounds in which the carbonyl group is attached to a carbon atom at the end of a carbon-atom chain. Ketones are organic compounds in which the carbonyl group is attached to carbon atoms within the chain. An example of one correctly named aldehyde and one correctly named ketone is: The simplest aldehyde is methanal. It was once commonly used in biology laboratories as a preservative for dead animals. Its most important commercial use, however, is in the production of plastics.

The simplest ketone is 2 propanone, whose common name is acetone. Acetone is found in some nail-polish removers because it dissolves the organic substances in nail polish. Aldehydes and ketones are also often responsible for odors and flavors. Carboxylic acids are organic compounds that contain the carboxyl functional group. The general formula is: One correctly named carboxylic acid is: A number of carboxylic acids occur naturally in plants and animal. For example, citrus fruits contain citric acid.

Carboxylic acids are also used as food additives to give a tart or acidic flavor. Benzoic, propanoic, and sorbic acids are used as preservatives that are able to kill microorganisms that cause food to spoil. Esters are organic compounds with carboxylic acid groups in which the hydrogen of the hydroxyl group has been replaced by an alkyl group. The general formula for an ester is: Two examples of correctly named esters are: Esters are common in plants and are responsible for some distinctive flavors and odors. Isoamyl acetate, which is found in bananas, is also used as an artificial flavoring. Amines are organic compounds that can be considered to be derivatives of ammonia.

The general formula is: One correctly named amine is: The formula for butrachotoxinin A, a toxic amine produced by a poison dart frog that kills nerve cells, is: Alkaloids are naturally occurring amine products of plans that have physiological effects on animals. Examples of alkaloids include caffeine, nicotine, morphine, and coniine. Science.


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