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Organic Chemistry

The branch of chemistry which deals with the study of carbon compounds is called organic chemistry.
Organic compounds containing hydrogen and carbon are called hydrocarbons. Petroleum jelly, petrol and kerosene used in our daily life are mixtures of different hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are used for the manufacture of plastics, detergents, dyes and many more polymers.
The simplest form of hydrocarbon is methane gas (CH4). This gas is formed when plants decompose in the absence of air. This gas is also found in coal and petroleum wells. A molecule of methane contains one atom of carbon and four atoms of hydrogen. This is a poisonous and combustible gas. Its structure is shown as follows:


Carbon is known to form millions of different compounds due to its special properties which open a separate branch of these carbon compounds. They are as follows:
  1. Catenation: It is the self-linking ability of an element to form a long chain-like structure by a series of covalent bonds. This can occur in any one of the following three ways:
    1. Straight chain
    2. Branched chain
    3. Closed chain
The classification of hydrocarbons is given in Figure 7.3:

  1. Homologous series: It is a family or a group of organic compounds having the same general formula. The successive members differ from each other by a –CH2 group with a difference of a constant relative atomic mass of 14.

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