Difference Between Organic and Inorganic Compounds

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Organic and Inorganic Compounds

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Now, the foundation for inorganic and organic chemistry is organic and inorganic compounds. Organic chemists research, evaluate, and observe the reactions of organic compounds. Several other compounds, like salts, metal, and minerals, are examined by inorganic chemists. Let’s understand the basic differences between organic and inorganic compounds.

Organic Compounds vs Inorganic Compounds

The primary distinction between organic and inorganic compounds is the presence or absence of the molecule carbon in organic molecules, which is frequently present in inorganic compounds. Carbon is a trace element, hence inorganic substances that include it cannot be categorized as organic. With some minor variations, carbon atoms are joined to hydrogen atoms to form C-H bonds in organic molecules. Numerous organic substances contain oxygen atoms.

Difference Between Organic and Inorganic compounds in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Organic Compounds Inorganic Compounds
Presence of Carbon Carbon is present in them. These substances do not have carbon in them.
Reactivity These are generally highly reactive. They are generally not flammable.
Their Physical State These substances occur in solid, liquid, and gaseous states. They occur as solids in nature.
Their Occurrence Organic substances are mostly present in living organisms. These substances occur in non-living organisms.
The Melting Point High melting points. They have a low melting point.
The Boiling Point They have a high boiling point. They have a low boiling point.

What are Organic compounds?

Any chemical compound that has carbon-hydrogen or carbon-carbon bonds is considered an organic substance in chemistry. Millions of organic compounds have been identified as a result of carbon's capacity to catenate (form chains with other carbon atoms). The field of research known as organic chemistry focuses on the characteristics, processes, and synthesis of organic molecules.

Some types of carbon-containing compounds, including carbonate salts and cyanide salts, and also a few other exceptions, such as carbon dioxide, really aren't categorized as organic compounds and instead are considered inorganic given the historical reasons. Any specific definition of an organic compound is difficult to come up with just because apart from those just mentioned, there is very little consensus among chemists on which carbon-containing substances are excluded.

Now, despite making up a small portion of the Earth's crust, organic compounds are crucial because they are the foundation of all known life.  Also, the conversion of carbon dioxide and a hydrogen source, such as water, into simple sugars as well as other organic molecules by autotrophic organisms utilizing light (photosynthesis) or other types of power is the first process in a series of procedures known as the carbon cycle that transforms inorganic carbon compounds into organic compounds.

The majority of synthetically created organic molecules are ultimately derived from petrochemicals, which are mostly composed of hydrocarbons and are themselves created by the subterranean decomposition of organic matter under high pressure and temperature over geological timeframes. Despite their start in living creatures, organic molecules are no longer traditionally regarded as such, despite their ultimate source. Some forms of carbon-containing compounds, including carbides, carbonates (apart from carbonate esters), simple oxides of carbon (such as CO and CO2), and cyanides, are regarded as inorganic for historical reasons that are detailed below. Diamond, graphite, fullerenes, and carbon nanotubes are examples of different forms (allotropes) of pure carbon that are not commonly thought of as chemical compounds because they are simple entities made up of just a single element.

Organic compounds are substances that exist in solid, liquid, or gaseous states that have carbon in them. Since there are many different chemical compounds, a comprehensive, systematic classification was necessary. Organic substances can be generically divided into acyclic (open chain) and cyclic compounds (closed chain). There are several ways to represent organic molecules, including Lewis structures, space-filled models, and structural formulas. It is usual to perceive the hydrogens in an organic molecule's structural formula as lines or to leave them altogether. They are thought to be there to finish the four bonds that the carbon atoms already provided.

Mass spectra have been used to find organic molecules. According to the results, all extractants were capable of performing direct analysis right away upon extraction without the need for a clean-up stage. However, the type of organic molecules recovered varies depending on the solvent employed, indicating their unique capacity to solubilize different organic biosolid substances.

Before Friedrich Wohler's discovery in the early 1800s, it was believed that organic chemistry was limited to the study of chemicals generated as a result of biological processes. However, organic molecules may now be created in a laboratory from minerals and other non-organic materials. The extraordinary characteristics of carbon atoms have been the focus of modern chemistry and materials sciences for the creation of synthetic compounds, insecticides, and a variety of other things. Carbon is a component of organic molecules, and it is nearly always linked to another carbon atom or hydrogen.

On occasion, carbons are also bonded to other elements including phosphorus, nitrogen, and oxygen. Some carbon compounds are not categorized as organic molecules. These include cyanates, cyanides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other ion compounds that contain carbon.

Chemicals like ethanol and isopropanol are examples of alcohol. They serve as antiseptics, and ethanol is a key ingredient in many beverages. Last but not least, a variety of compounds, including medications, are included in carboxylic acids. One of the first commercially available drugs, aspirin, includes carboxylic acid.

There are millions of different organic compounds, however, even the most complicated organic molecules may be named using a relatively straightforward classification system. This lesson will help you classify organic compounds according to their types and name just a few of the more prevalent ones.

Along with other elements necessary for the reproduction of living things, organic substances also contain carbon. The biggest contributing factor is carbon since it has four electrons, which can fit eight electrons in an outer shell. As a result, several types of bonds can be created with other carbon atoms as well as with other elements including hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Proteins and hydrocarbons are two excellent examples of organic compounds that may form intricate chains.

These molecules' organic constituents serve as the building blocks for chemical reactions that give plant and animal cells the energy needed to obtain food, reproduce, and carry out all other life-related tasks.

The term "functional group" refers to an atom or a group of atoms that are bonded together in a certain way and are what give organic molecules their distinctive chemical characteristics. The hydroxyl group (OH), aldehyde group (CHO), and carboxylic acid group (COOH) are examples in this scenario.

A group or series of organic compounds is referred to as homologous if each member of the group or series has the same distinctive functional group and differs from the others by a fixed unit. The consecutive members of the homologous series differ from one another in the molecular formula by a CH2 unit, and the members of the homologous series can be represented by a general formula. In organic chemistry, there are numerous homologous series, including alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, haloalkanes, alkanols, amines, etc.

What are Inorganic Compounds?

An inorganic compound in chemistry is often one that does not contain carbon-hydrogen bonds, i.e., one that is not an organic compound. The distinction is not well defined, though; authorities' opinions on the matter vary. Inorganic chemistry is a branch of chemistry that focuses on the study of inorganic substances. Also, the majority of the Earth's crust is made up of inorganic substances, although research into the deep mantle's composition is still ongoing. 

Now, many simple carbon-containing compounds are regarded as inorganic. Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbides, and the salts of the inorganic cations carbonates, cyanides, cyanates, and thiocyanates are a few examples. Many of these are typical components of primarily organic systems, including organisms; a chemical's classification as inorganic does not imply that it never occurs in living things.

The term "organic" describes compounds that have carbon atoms in them. Thus, "Inorganic Chemistry" refers to the area of chemistry that studies substances that do not contain carbon-hydrogen atoms. It is, to put it simply, the polar opposite of organic chemistry. Metals, salts, chemical compounds, etc. are examples of substances that do not have carbon-hydrogen bonds.

About 100,000 inorganic substances are known to exist on this planet. Inorganic chemistry examines these substances' behaviors as well as their features, physical attributes, and chemical makeup. The periodic table's elements, except carbon and hydrogen, are included in the categories of inorganic compounds.

Numerous elements are crucial to technology; titanium, iron, nickel, and copper, for instance, are utilized in electrical and structural components. Second, the transition metals combine with other metallic elements to create several useful alloys.

Now, Chemistry is the study of the elements that make up matter. Because you can only investigate reductions if you completely combine items, chemistry involves a lot of experimentation. Fortunately, daring scientists have already taken the risk to better understand chemistry without putting their health and safety in danger. The stuff of our world and the universe is composed of more than a hundred different elements. Numerous chemicals are created by combining them.

Atoms of various elements are fused by a chemical bond to form a chemical complex. The molecule behaves as if it were a single component because of the extremely strong connections. The compound is created when two or more atoms are linked together to form molecules.

Inorganic chemistry's interdisciplinary field of organometallic chemistry has had spectacular growth during the past three to four decades. Academic research has helped to clarify the nature and variety of chemical bonds by illuminating the bonds in an ever-growing array of fascinating organometallic compounds.

In industries, homogeneous catalysis agents are usually utilized with organometallic compounds. The subjects discussed in this book give readers fresh perspectives on the discipline of organometallic chemistry.

The study of organometallic compounds is called organometallic chemistry. Compounds having metallic bonds of a mainly covalent character could be an option because many compounds without these bonds are chemically equivalent. Inorganic and organic chemical components are combined in organometallic chemistry.

The inorganic substances are categorized as follows:

  • Acids: Acids are substances that break down in the water and release hydrogen ions, also known as H+ Ions. Acids include things like vinegar, citric acid, sulfuric acid, and hydrochloric acid.
  • Bases: A base is a particular kind of chemical or compound that, when held in water, emits hydroxyl ions. When dissolved in water, bases including potassium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, ammonia, and sodium hydroxide release OH- ions.
  • Salts: You're probably familiar with the term "salt." The products produced by the reaction of an acid and a base are referred to as salts. One of the common examples of salts is sodium hydroxide, which is found in table salt.
  • Oxides: The name "oxide" refers to compounds that only contain one oxygen atom.

Inorganic Chemistry Applications

  • Numerous industries, including biology, chemical engineering, and other professions, use inorganic chemistry.
  • Both the area of medicine and healthcare facilities use it.
  • The most typical use is in our daily life when we utilize table salt or the chemical sodium hydroxide.
  • Cakes and other meals can be prepared using baking soda.

Main Differences Between Organic and Inorganic compounds In Points

  • In contrast to inorganic substances, which do not contain carbon, organic compounds are hydrocarbons because they are created exclusively from carbon and hydrogen.
  • Organic chemicals burn to produce carbon(II)oxide, water, and carbon(IV)oxide while inorganic compounds normally do not burn but when they do, they frequently form a cation oxide and a cation nitride.
  • While inorganic compounds are either produced by non-living natural systems or by human experimental efforts, organic substances are produced by living organisms.
  • Organic chemicals cannot make salts, although inorganic compounds may.
  • Ionic, covalent, and metallic bonds are used to bind inorganic materials while carbon-hydrogen bonds are used to bind organic materials.
  • The presence of metal atoms distinguishes inorganic molecules from organic ones, which lack metal atoms.


Petrochemicals, which are largely made of hydrocarbons and produce many synthetically produced organic compounds, are produced over geological time scales by the high pressure and temperature decomposition of subterranean organic materials. Since the majority of the components in this universe are inorganic, they can have different shapes and different properties. You just need to carefully read through this entire article, and you won't have any trouble telling these two chemicals apart.


  • Inorganic compound. (n.d.). Retrieved from WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inorganic_compound
  • Organic compound. (n.d.). Retrieved from WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_compound


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"Difference Between Organic and Inorganic Compounds." Diffzy.com, 2023. Fri. 02 Jun. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-organic-and-inorganic-compounds-912>.

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