Inorganic Compound: Definition, Types, and Examples

Inorganic Compound Definition

It is a compound that lacks any C-C and C-H covalent bonds. Elements are bonded together to form a chemical compound. Elements consist of only 1 kind of atom, elements together are held by chemical bonds to form a compound.

Compounds are classified as either organic or inorganic based on the presence of carbon atoms. Organic compounds consist of carbon atoms while inorganic compounds lack carbon.

Vitalism vs Wöhler’s Findings

xxVitalism was one of the prominent theories of early times. This theory differentiates living beings from non-living by the presence of a vita force-vis-vitalis that was present in the former. This force was essential in the sense that it allowed the production of certain chemicals called organic as they are synthesised by the organisms. While any chemicals obtained from non-living matter were termed inorganic as these are not derived from living entities but rather are the product of other physical, chemical or geological processes.

This theory demonstrates the earlier beliefs, it was proved with evidence and experiments by Friedrich Wöhler. He in his experiments proved that organic matter could be produced by inorganic precursors. For instance, in 1828 he discovered that urea an organic compound can be produced by ammonium sulfate and potassium cyanate chemically. These experiments ultimately lead to the rise and development of the field of organic chemistry.

After disapproval of the vitalism theory, it has been difficult to define and demarcate inorganic and organic compounds. It would be incorrect to state that only organic compounds have Carbon atoms, as some inorganic compounds are exceptions like cyanides, carbonates, cyanates, carbon dioxide, carbides, carbon monoxide, and thyocyanates contain carbon atoms. In 1978, Günter Bergerhoff and I.D.Brown who founded the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database referred to inorganic compounds as those that have either C-C bond or C-H bond, but not both.

Organic Compounds vs Inorganic Compounds

Organic compounds mainly comprise carbon atoms and involve C-H covalent bonding. They are synthesized in biological entities as a result of biological processes. Salt formation does not occur in them and they also cannot form metal atoms. In aqueous solutions, it conducts heat and electricity poorly. Examples of organic compounds include proteins, urea, nucleic acids, and fats.

In inorganic compounds, carbon atoms are usually absent but exceptions occur as in cyanides. They generally lack C-H bonds and comprise ionic bonding instead. They are formed as a result of chemical synthesis and cannot form salts. They can also consist of metal ions and are good conductors of electricity and heat. Examples include cyanates, carbides, and brass.

The compound is formed by ions or atoms of 2 or more elements chemically bonded as a substance, while an element comprises only one type of atom. Elements are inorganic but can’t be termed as inorganic compounds as they comprise only one kind of atom. Simple inorganic substances can be grouped as non-metal or metal.

The ionic compounds constitute the majority of inorganic compounds meaning that ionic bond is responsible for holding the compound together. They can be grouped into salts, acids, and bases. An ionic bond is formed by the transfer of electrons between atoms. This is based on the electrostatic attraction between ions of different opposite charges.

As an instance, Cl- anion and Na+ cation form an ionic bond in the sodium chloride compound. The ionic compound that contains either oxide or hydroxide is labelled as a base. A salt is formed when without the involvement of ions an ionic compound is formed.

An example of an inorganic compound is water that is essential for the survival of life forms. It comprises 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom and the main bond involved is an hydrogen covalent bond that holds the molecules together.

Ribonucleotide, Ribonucleotide Definition,
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