Organic Compounds Examples
Organic compounds are quite simply any molecule that contains carbon atoms. Some definitions also include the need to contain hydrogen atoms, as carbon and hydrogen are both components necessary for living things. This definition holds for the molecules, regardless of what state of matter they are in. Historically there are a few carbon-containing molecules such as the carbides that were not considered organic.
An entire field of science, also known as organic chemistry, evolved to study the carbon-containing substances. Organic chemistry was actually born out of a very old, first-century understanding of the root causes and requirements for life called "vitalism."
1. Natural vs Synthetic
Some organic compounds occur naturally in plants and animals, while others are created. What scientists have further classified is the fact that some synthetic organic compounds are just what you'd think the word means: created artificially, such as in laboratory settings. But researchers have also discovered that some synthetic organic compounds are made as a byproduct inside plants or animals. They're still organic compounds because they contain carbon, but they're also still synthetic since they are "made" by the organism. One example could be methane, as it's a byproduct of digestion.
There are several key types of saccharides-monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides, to name a few-and they are organic compounds made up of carbohydrates and chains of simple sugars. Some of these include cellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, hemicellulose, arabinoxylan, sucrose, maltose, lactose, fructose, galactose, glucose, and ribose.
Lipids are classified as organic compounds due to the presence of carbon molecules in their makeup. Lipids are fatty or waxy substances that are produced naturally in the cells of plants and animals, and have multiple functions. These functions include creating a protective layer over sensitive areas, such as the coating outside leaves or the ear canals of humans, and in the transport of substances throughout the cell. Some of the most well-known lipids are the unsaturated and saturated fats, trans fats, and glyceride, although there are many more.
4. Other Organic Compounds
There are many other categories of organic compounds, including proteins, hormones like estrogen, cellular components like T-cell receptors, various alcohols and sugar alcohols, and many more.
Organic Versus Inorganic Compounds
Cellular Functions of Organic Compounds Quiz
Inorganic Compounds Examples
Saturated vs. Unsaturated Hydrocarbons
Organic Chemistry Facts
Examples: Grammar and Science Examples for Kids