An organic compound is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen like glucose molecule. Carbon dioxide cannot be considered organic compound as it lacks hydrogen. All organic compounds contain carbon as the backbone, attached with different functional groups. Carbon becomes stable when it gains four electrons, thus forming four bonds. At the end of the molecule, there is a functional group that helps in classification of organic compounds. When these compounds combine with larger molecules they bind together at the functional group. All living things are called organic compounds, as they are associated with the life process related to organic chemistry. Let us see the organic compounds list.
Types of Organic Compounds
The organic compounds are classified according to their functional group. There are four major types of compounds found in all living organisms - carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. These molecules form long chains of similar subunits or polymers. They are very large molecules and therefore called macromolecules. The subunits of polymers are called monomers.
The term 'carbohydrates' is derived from the composition of the molecule. A carbohydrate contains, 1 carbon to 2 hydrogen to one oxygen. Thus, the chemical formula is written as CH2. For example, glucose is a sugar molecule written as C6H12O6. Carbohydrates have 5 or 6 rings of carbons and alcohol has the -OH group attached. Carbohydrates are used for production and storage of energy as well providing structure to a cell.
The non-polar components of cells are called lipids. They are mostly made up of hydrocarbons that is carbon and hydrogen. Lipids are mostly used as primary energy storage and formation of cell membranes. There are 4 types of lipids:
- Fats - help in storage of energy
- Phospholipids - Found in cell membranes
- Waxes - For waterproofing
- Steroids - Those found in hormones
Proteins are the most important type of macromolecules that are found in skin collagen, nail and hair in the form of keratin and crystallin in eyes. Proteins also form enzymes to help carry out metabolic transformations, building and rearranging compounds, breaking down large organic compounds, etc. Proteins in form of hemoglobin help in carrying oxygen in blood to various parts of the body. Proteins are also a form of nutrition (egg yolk), hormones and immune system bodies. Amino acids are subunits of proteins that contain an amino group and acid group. There are 20 different types of amino acids in proteins. Arrangement of amino acids impart the different properties to different proteins.
The subunits of nucleic acids are called nucleotides. The nucleic acids store genetic information of an organism in the cell. There are two types of nucleic acids, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid). There are 3 parts of a nucleotide - a sugar group, a phosphate and a base. There are 5 carbons in the sugar of both RNA and DNA. What makes the two nucleic acids differ is that the -OH group of ribose is replaced by the -H in DNA. Also DNA has thymine as one of its base groups and RNA has uracil instead of thymine. The main molecule that contains energy for a cell is the ATP molecule. An ATP is an RNA nucleotide that contains 3 phosphate groups attached in a chain.
List of Organic Compounds
Apart from the major organic compounds mentioned above, there are thousands of compounds that are larger and complex. The following list contain a few types of these organic molecules:
- Carboxylic acids
- Amino acids
- Acyl/acid chlorides
- Phenyls and benzyls
Volatile Organic Compounds
The organic chemical compounds that have significant vapor pressure that can affect environment and human health are called volatile organic compounds or VOCs. There are many volatile compounds and they are found almost everywhere. These compounds include naturally occurring chemical compounds and man-made compounds. They show a slow, chronic effect on health. Most of the biologically derived VOCs are emitted from plants. Man-made compounds are emitted from solvents, wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, paints, paint strippers, cleansers, disinfectants, air refreshers, stored fuels, etc.
Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds
Those organic compounds that have a boiling point higher than water and vaporize when exposed to temperatures that are above room temperature are called semi-volatile organic compounds. These semi-volatile organic compounds phenols and poly-nuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
This was in short about organic compounds. The organic compounds list is very long, as there are many molecules that come under carbohydrates, enzymes, hormones, lipids and fatty acids, proteins, peptides, amino acids, etc. I hope this article on organic compounds has helped you understand these molecules.
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