Question: What Is the Difference Between Organic and Inorganic?
Organic compounds and inorganic compounds form the basis for chemistry. Here is a look at the difference between organic and inorganic compounds, plus examples of each type.
Answer: The primary difference between organic compounds and inorganic compounds is that organic compounds always contain carbon while most inorganic compounds do not contain carbon. Also, almost all organic compounds contain carbon-hydrogen or C-H bonds.
Examples of Organic Compounds or MoleculesMolecules associated with living organisms are organic. These include nucleic acids, fats, sugars, proteins, enzymes and many fuels.
- table sugar or sucrose, C12H22O11
- benzene, C6H6
- methane, CH4
Examples of Inorganic CompoundsInorganics include salts, metals, substances made from single elements and any other compounds that don't contain carbon bonded to hydrogen.
- table salt or sodium chloride, NaCl
- carbon dioxide, CO2
- diamond (pure carbon)
Organic Compounds Without C-H BondsThere are few organic compounds that don't contain carbon-hydrogen bonds. Examples of these exceptions include:
- carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)
- urea [CO(NH2)2]
Learn MoreIntro to Organic Chemistry
Organic Functional Groups
10 Carbon Facts