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Introduction To Organic Chemistry.

Organic chemistry reactions in college.

Organic chemistry is the study of organic compounds and how they interact. For a compound to qualify as an organic compound, it must have a carbon-hydrogen bond. These compounds are the basic unit of living things. Everything in nature, including trees, are made of an organic compound.

Examples of organic compounds are proteins, amino acids, DNA, food, and medicines. Even though other elements might be present, Carbon and hydrogen are the major ones in each of these. Oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and other substance are also present in each compound.

The atomic mass of Carbon

Element symbol= C

Carbon has a mass number of 12 and an atomic number of 6.

The Carbon atom has 6 Protons, 6 electrons, and 6 neutrons.

Carbon has an isotope of Carbon-13 that has a very small natural abundance.

The electronic configuration of carbon is 1s2 2S22P2. This means it has two energy levels, with the outermost one having 4 electrons.

What makes Carbon a unique element.

  1. Carbon is a Group 4A element that has 4 valence electrons in its outermost energy level. Therefore. It is capable of forming four covalent bonds around it.
  2.  It can also form a bond with another carbon, which is a unique character when forming chain molecules such as polymer and DNA.

When a carbon is bonded to a certain number of atoms, it has unique characteristics and functionality. Changing the way these atoms are connected through organic reactions changes everything about that molecule.

For instance, reacting alkene with H2SO4 with heat will convert the alkene to alcohol. Alkene and alcohol have very different characteristics and uses. And this is also unique in Carbon-based compounds.

How Carbon forms bonds.

As mentioned above, Carbon can form 4 bonds, which is why it is called a tetravalent atom. It is capable of forming:

•             Single bonds between carbon and another carbon: also known as the alkane

structure of alkane
  • A double bond between two carbon atoms: also known as an alkene
  • A triple bond between two carbon atoms:  Also known as alkyne.

Organic chemistry functional groups.

A functional group is a specific compound with the same physical and chemical properties. Scientists have done a lot of research to group molecules into different functional groups. The chemistry of organic compounds is determined by the functional group it has.

Identification of functional groups.

 The following examples give a hint on how to identify functional groups of compounds.

NOTE: R group represents the carbon chain.

Alkanes-They have single Carbon-carbon double bonds.

Alkenes-They have C=C double bonds

  • Alkynes-They have a carbon-carbon triple bond

Alcohols-They have an OH functional group. Example

Aldehydes-They have an R and H atom bonded to the carbonyl carbon

Ketones-They have two R groups bonded to the carbonyl carbon

Alkyl halides-They have an alkyl halide bonded to Carbon

Ester-Has R and OR group bonded to the carbonyl carbon

Ether-Has two R groups bonded to Oxygen

Carboxylic acid:-Has R and OH group bonded to the carbonyl carbon

Reactions of organic compounds.

Organic compounds undergo many chemical reactions depending on the functional groups of that compound and the reagents given. Knowing how the reaction proceeds can be very hectic, but with a thorough guide, everything is made easy.

All these chemical reactions are done to synthesize new organic compounds for use. The pharmaceutical industry is the primary application of organic chemistry synthesis. The procedures are followed to produce different types of drugs.

These reactions must be very accurate to avoid forming unwanted products.

Organic reactions include:

  1. Elimination reaction: This reaction converts alkyl halide or alcohol to alkenes.
  2. Oxidation reaction: such as the conversion of alcohol to a ketone or carboxylic acid.
  3. Addition reaction: e.g., the conversion of alkene to alky halide.
  4. Reduction reaction: an example is reducing ketone to alcohol.
  5. Substitution reaction: an example is the conversion of alcohol to an alkyl halide.

These reactions can either undergo SN1 or SN2 reactions depending on the reagents.

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