Organic Compound

∞ generated and posted on 2016.01.13 ∞

Molecule or ion containing one or more carbon atoms along with nonpolar covalent bonds between carbon and at least one additional atom that is not carbon.

Typically this other atom will at a minimum be hydrogen. See also organic as well as reduced organic compound and hydrocarbon.


Figure legend: Simplest of organic compounds, methane. Note the four single bonds between a single carbonatom and four different hydrogen atoms. Note that not all of carbon's electrons are shown, but instead just the valence electrons. Hydrogen atoms, by contrast, possess just a single electron. The bonds shown are single covalent bonds. They are energy rich, and they also can be viewed as reduced in the sense of trapping electrons and therefore their associated energy some distance from the atomic nuclei with which they are associated.

Note that it is not that polar covalent bonds or even ionic bonds are not permissible but instead that there must be at least one nonpolar covalent bond that is between carbon and another atom. Thus, for example, methanol is an organic compound as too is pyruvate, but not either graphite or carbon dioxide.