14 Difference Between Organic And Inorganic Compounds (With Examples)

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Get clear insights on the difference between Organic and Inorganic compounds. The basis of comparison include: Description, density, solubility, formation, conductivity, boiling and melting points, examples, viscosity, reactivity and more.

Key Differences

  • Organic compound is a class of chemical compounds in which one or more atoms of carbon are covalently linked to atoms of other elements, most commonly hydrogen, oxygen or nitrogen.  On the other hand an inorganic compound is any compound that lacks a carbon atom.
  • Density of compound is usually based on the size of molecule against the size of atoms in the molecule. Due to presence of more hydrogen atoms in organic compounds, organic compounds tend to be typically less dense than inorganic compounds. This is because hydrogen is the lowest density atom among all atoms.
  • Inorganic compounds are highly soluble in water. This is because they have ionic bonds between molecules. Ionic bonds easily dissociate into positive and negative ions in water. On the other hand, most organic compounds have covalent bonds between molecules and hence are insoluble in water, though they are soluble in other organic solvents.
  • Organic compounds are formed as a result of actions of living organisms while inorganic compounds are formed due to natural processes unrelated to any life form or as a result of human experimentation in the laboratory.
  • In most of the aqueous solutions, organic compounds are typically poor conductors of electricity and heat. Inorganic compounds in aqueous solutions are good conductors of electricity, this is because they have high ability to ionize and this makes them better conductors.
  • Inorganic compounds include salt, metals, silver, sulfur, pure diamond, substances made from single elements and substances that do not contain carbon bonded to hydrogen. On the other hand, examples of organic compounds include nucleic acids, sucrose, enzymes, benzene, methane, fats and ethanol.
  • Inorganic compounds have a faster overall rate of reaction than organic compounds. Stable organic compounds are generally un-reactive due to presence of covalent bonds that are difficult to break. On the other hand, inorganic compounds have ionic bonds that easily break; this makes them highly reactive, and will always react with whatever is available.
  • Viscosity of any compound depends on intermolecular forces between molecules. The stronger the intermolecular forces the higher the viscosity. Intermolecular forces of organic compounds are weak, their viscosity tend to be low. Inorganic compounds on the other hand, tend to have strong intermolecular forces, such as hydrogen bonding, thus they have a higher viscosity.
  • Organic compounds have relatively high melting and boiling point when compared to inorganic compounds that generally have a low meting and boiling points.
  • Organic compounds are biological and more complex in nature when compared to inorganic compounds that are simple and mineral in nature.
  • Inorganic compounds easily make salt whereas, organic compounds cannot make salt.
  • Organic compounds have carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms by a hydrocarbon-bond whereas inorganic compounds do not have such formation.
  • Inorganic metals contain metal atoms whereas organic compounds do not.

Also Read: Difference Between Organic And Inorganic Chemistry

Difference Between Organic And Inorganic Compounds In Tabular Form

Points of Comparison Organic Compound Inorganic Compound
Definition Organic compound is a class of chemical compounds in which one or more atoms of carbon are covalently linked to atoms of other elements, most commonly hydrogen, oxygen or nitrogen. An inorganic compound is any compound that lacks a carbon atom.  
Density Tend to be typically less dense.   Tend to be denser.
Solubility in water Are insoluble in water.   Highly soluble in water.
Formation Organic compounds are formed as a result of actions of living organisms. Inorganic compounds are formed due to natural processes unrelated to any life form or as a result of human experimentation in the laboratory.  
Conductivity In most of the aqueous solutions, organic compounds are typically poor conductors of electricity and heat. In most of the aqueous solutions, inorganic compounds are typically good conductors of electricity and heat
Examples Examples of organic compounds include nucleic acids, sucrose, enzymes, benzene, methane, fats and ethanol. Inorganic compounds include salt, metals, silver, sulfur, pure diamond, substances made from single elements and substances that do not contain carbon bonded to hydrogen.
Reactivity Stable organic compounds are not reactive. Inorganic compounds have a faster overall rate of reaction.
Viscosity Intermolecular forces of organic compounds are weak, their viscosity tend to be low. Inorganic compounds on the other hand, tend to have strong intermolecular forces, such as hydrogen bonding, thus they have a higher viscosity.
Melting and Boiling Point Organic compounds have relatively high melting and boiling point. Inorganic compounds that generally have a low meting and boiling points.  
Nature of existence Organic compounds are biological and more complex in nature Inorganic compounds are simple and mineral in nature.  
Salt Formation   They do not form or make salt.   They do form or make salt easily.
Form of Existence Have carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms by a hydrocarbon-bond. Do not have such formation.
Components They do not contain metal atoms.   Contain metal atoms.

Similarities between Organic and Inorganic compounds

  • Both can contain carbon atoms in their structure.
  • Both can be soluble in organic solvents.
  • Both have intermolecular bonds.

Summary

Also Read: Difference Between Organic And Inorganic polymers

Organic compound is a class of chemical compounds in which one or more atoms of carbon are covalently linked to atoms of other elements, most commonly hydrogen, oxygen or nitrogen.  On the other hand an inorganic compound is any compound that lacks a carbon atom.