Organic Chemistry is a type of chemistry that studies the structures, properties and reactions of organic compounds.

What is Organic Chemistry? 

Organic compounds contain carbon in covalent bonding. Covalent bonding is a chemical bond which contains the sharing of electrons between atoms. Analysis of structure dictates their chemical formula and composition. Organic Chemistry is the science which describes how organic chemicals are made, their physical and chemical properties. Organic Chemistry deals with carbon compounds that usually contain hydrogen and one or more additional compounds like oxygen or nitrogen. 

Read more on the branches of Chemistry

How Does ‘Organic Chemistry’ Get Its Name? 

Organic Chemistry is called ‘organic chemistry’ because all know living things or organisms contain water and carbon compounds. An example is fossilised remains in the form of hydrocarbons-natural gas, crude oil, oil shales and coal. They’re also found in carbonates-chalk, limestone and siderite. This is a broad topic that projects with other sciences like biochemistry, medicine and materials science. 

Interesting Facts: 

There are many interesting facts about Organic Chemistry:
• Carbon is visible in nature in its pure form: graphite and diamond.
• 18% of the human body is carbon atoms.
• Carbon atoms make up the backbone of many important molecules in your body- proteins, DNA, mRNA, sugars and fats.
• These are complex biological molecules, often called macromolecules.
• Carbon is the fourth most lavish element in the universe, fifteenth on earth and second in the human body, after oxygen. 

Is It Difficult? 

There are two types of organic chemistry-organic chemistry 1 and organic chemistry 2, with number 1 you just learn the basics and with 2, you learn specific reactions and how to use them. 

Who Invented Organic Chemistry? 

Organic Chemistry was first interpreted as a branch of modern science in the early 1800s by Jon Jacob Berzelius. He classified chemical compounds into two groups-organic and inorganic, meaning if they came from minerals or non-living matter. 

Find out more: 

More in Organic Chemistry and careers.
Read more on the history of Organic Chemistry.

This piece was written by work experience, Ma’ame.

Meet the Organic Chemists:
Bridgette Shannon
Asima Chatterjee

Have you grabbed your Stemettes swag yet? Start your collection with a Grey or Black tee

Want to discuss this with other young women in STEM? Why not join the Stemette Society to continue the conversation.

Share on: