Now, an official definition of these compounds does not exist, and this makes the distinction process even harder. Different scientific books often give differing definitions. Some books state that these compounds contain C-H bonds, others state that they contain C-C bonds, and most books say that the simple presence of carbon makes a compound organic in nature.
Despite these differences, the examples remain the same in all these books. Once a compound has become known as an organic, this cannot be altered just like that.
What Are Organic Compounds Made Of?
The modern definition and classification of these examples are very different from earlier studies. Today's fairly broad definition that any compound containing carbon qualifies as organic compounds is not completely accurate as there are several carbon-containing alloys that do not figure in this list.
Apart from these alloys (like steel), there are other metal carbonates and carbonyls, simple carbon halides and sulfides and simple oxides of carbon and cyanides as well, that are known as inorganic compounds, even though carbon is a part of their composition. The older definitions (known as 'vitalism') were considered by scientists to originate from living processes, and this led to the name 'organic compounds'. The primary reason for so much ambiguity is that carbon easily combines with many compounds to form molecular chains and rings, and as such, there are millions of compounds that contain carbon in them.
The most commonly known and seen examples are as mentioned in the following list:
- Acid anhydrides
- Azo compounds
- Carboxylic acids
- Nitro compounds
- Organometallic compounds
These examples can be classified as natural and synthetic organic compounds, and also on the basis of the many bonds that they are made up of. The study of organic chemistry is very vast and complicated, but ultimately very useful.