Inorganic compound

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In chemistry, an inorganic compound is typically a chemical compound that lacks carbon–hydrogen bonds, that is, a compound that is not an organic compound. However, the distinction is not clearly defined; authorities have differing views on the subject.[1][2][3] The study of inorganic compounds is a subfield of chemistry known as inorganic chemistry.

Inorganic compounds comprise most of the Earth's crust, although the compositions of the deep mantle remain active areas of investigation.[4]

Some simple compounds that contain carbon are often considered inorganic. Examples include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbides, and the following salts of inorganic cations: carbonates, cyanides, cyanates, and thiocyanates. Many of these are normal parts of mostly organic systems, including organisms; describing a chemical as inorganic does not necessarily mean that it does not occur within living things.

History[edit]

Friedrich Wöhler's conversion of ammonium cyanate into urea in 1828 is often cited as the starting point of modern organic chemistry.[5][6][7] In Wöhler’s era, there was widespread belief that organic compounds were characterized by a vital spirit. In the absence of vitalism, the distinction between inorganic and organic chemistry is merely semantic.

Modern usage[edit]

  • The Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD) in its definition of "inorganic" carbon compounds, states that such compounds may contain either C-H or C-C bonds, but not both.[8]
  • The book series Inorganic Syntheses does not define inorganic compounds. The majority of its content deals with metal complexes of organic ligands.[9]
  • IUPAC does not offer a definition of "inorganic" or "inorganic compound" but does define inorganic polymer as "...skeletal structure that does not include carbon atoms."[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Some major textbooks on inorganic chemistry decline to define inorganic compounds: Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. Inorganic Chemistry Academic Press: San Francisco, 2001. ISBN 0-12-352651-5; Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-08-037941-8., Cotton, F. Albert; Wilkinson, Geoffrey (1988), Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (5th ed.), New York: Wiley-Interscience, ISBN 0-471-84997-9
  2. ^ J. J. Berzelius "Lehrbuch der Chemie," 1st ed., Arnoldischen Buchhandlung, Dresden and Leipzig, 1827. ISBN 1-148-99953-1. Brief English commentary in English can be found in Bent Soren Jorgensen "More on Berzelius and the vital force" J. Chem. Educ., 1965, vol. 42, p 394. doi:10.1021/ed042p394
  3. ^ Dan Berger, Bluffton College, analysis of varying inappropriate definitions of the inorganic-organic distinction: Otherwise consistent linked material differing from current article in downplaying the carbon present vs carbon absent distinctive: [1]
  4. ^ Newman, D. K.; Banfield, J. F. (2002). "Geomicrobiology: How Molecular-Scale Interactions Underpin Biogeochemical Systems". Science. 296 (5570): 1071–1077. Bibcode:2002Sci...296.1071N. doi:10.1126/science.1010716. PMID 12004119.
  5. ^ May, Paul. "Urea". Molecules in Motion. Imperial College London. Archived from the original on 2015-03-17.
  6. ^ Cohen, Paul S.; Cohen, Stephen M. (1996). "Wöhler's Synthesis of Urea: How do the Textbooks Report It?". Journal of Chemical Education. 73 (9): 883. doi:10.1021/ed073p883.
  7. ^ Ramberg, Peter J. (2000). "The Death of Vitalism and the Birth of Organic Chemistry: Wohler's Urea Synthesis and the Disciplinary Identity of Organic Chemistry". Ambix. 47 (3): 170–195. doi:10.1179/amb.2000.47.3.170. PMID 11640223.
  8. ^ "Inorganic Crystal Structure Database" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  9. ^ "Volumes - Inorganic Syntheses". www.inorgsynth.org.
  10. ^ IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book") (1997). Online corrected version:  (2006–) "inorganic polymer". doi:10.1351/goldbook.IT07515