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Organic and
Biochem, Part 1
SOL Objective CH. 6
 This year, we will have an Organic Chemistry
and Biochemistry “flavor” from time to time.
 Organic = any compound which contains
 Organic compounds usually also contain H
and some combination of O, N, S, P, Cl and
other elements.
 Biochem = study of organic compounds which
appear in living things.
Organic Products
 Many of you probably buy organic products
from grocery stores (I do too sometimes).
 This means something different from Organic
 Organic products do not use chemical
fertilizers or pesticides or irradiation (used to
prevent onions and potatoes from sprouting) or
chemical additives (to enhance taste or
Organic Products ≠
Organic Chemistry
 Many people prefer organic products for lots
of reasons. People think they are eating
healthier and not putting “chemicals” into
their body by using organic products.
 However, scientific evidence (so far) proves
that there is little difference in organic produce
in terms of taste, safety and nutritional value
compared to “non-organic produced” food.
Organic Compounds
 All organic compounds contain C.
 However, not all organic compounds come
from nature or living things.
 For example, some medicines come from
natural products. Some medicines were
created by scientists in a lab.
Natural vs Synthetic
 Penicillin was originally isolated from a fungus
and found to have antibiotic (kills bacteria)
properties. However, the demand for penicillin
soon outgrew the ability to get it from fungi
and organic chemists figured out how to
synthesize penicillin in the lab.
 Regardless of whether it is found in nature or
synthesized in a lab, all penicillin must have
the same properties and be exactly the same in
every way.
Important Pharmaceuticals
 Pharmaceuticals are any chemical substances used
for the diagnosis, cure, treatment or prevention of
 Common pharmaceuticals you should know
 Aspirin
 Vitamins
 Insulin
 All of the above are organic chemicals.
 All of the above can occur naturally or can be
synthesized in the lab.
 Aspirin occurs naturally in willow tree bark.
 Hippocrates (father of modern medicine) was
known to make a powder of willow bark and
leaves to cure headaches and fevers as early as 400
 Aspirin was first isolated chemically in Germany
in 1897 at Bayer, a chemical company.
 Aspirin is quite easy to make in the lab. Many
pharmaceutical products are very difficult to
5 Branches of Chemistry
 Inorganic Chemistry is the study of compounds which
do not contain C.
 Organic Chemistry is the study of compounds which
DO contain C.
 Biochemistry is the study of chemical processes which
exist in living organisms.
 Analytical Chemistry is the study of the separation of
mixtures of compounds and identifying and quantifying
those compounds.
 Physical Chemistry is the study of physics as it applies
to chemical systems at the atomic and molecular level.
 The simplest organic compounds are called
 These compounds ONLY contain C and H.
 Hydrocarbons are also called “fossil fuels”
(because they come from decomposed living
things) and “petrochemicals” (because they are
found in petroleum).
 Petroleum is a mixture of hydrocarbons found in
geologic formations beneath the Earth’s surface.
HC = Hydrocarbons
 Petroleum (also known as crude oil) is separated
through a physical process called distillation. Oil
and gas, and a lot of other comounds, are in the
mixture known as “petroleum.”
 In distillation, you boil a mixture of
hydrocarbons. Since each hydrocarbon has a
unique boiling point, they can be separated from
each other in this way. (Test alert!)
 The simplest HC is methane. Methane’s
formula is CH4. Learn this!
Other Distillation Products
 Gases from Petroleum
 Ethane, C2H6, used primarily to produce ethene
(also known as ethylene) which is used to produce
plastics, such as polyethylene, and is also used
force the ripening of fruit.
 Propane, C3H8, also known as LP gas (liquified
petroleum), can be stored as a liquid at low
pressures. Used as fuel for gas grills.
 Butane, C4H10, can also be liquified easily at low
pressures. Used as fuel in cigarette lighters.
Other Distillation Products
 Liquids from Petroleum
 Gasoline (primarily octane, C8H18, but contains
HC with 5-12 carbons).
 Kerosene (contains HC with 12-16 carbons).
Used for lamps, stoves and portable heaters.
 Fuel Oil (contains HC with 15-18 carbons). Used
for heating houses. Also used in diesel engines.
 Lubricating Oil (contains HC with 16-20 carbons).
Use as motor oil in car engines.
Other Distillation Products
 Solids from Petroleum
 Residue (solids remaining with > 20 carbons
after distillation); used to make asphalt.
 Paraffin wax (20-40 carbons). Has a variety of
uses, but used to make candles which burn at a
very low temp (40-50°C). It is white and
odorless and tasteless. James Chadwick used it
in experiments to identify the neutron.
 Liquid paraffin is called mineral oil.
Types of HC
 Alkanes: only contain C-C single bonds. Known
as saturated HC. It is saturated because it has the
maximum number of hydrogens bonded to the
 Alkenes: contains at least 1 C=C double bond.
 Alkynes: contains at least 1 CΞC triple bond.
 Alkenes and alkynes are unsaturated HC, because
more H could be bonded to the C atoms.
 Large molecule composed of repeating units
of simple molecules (called monomers).
 Think about Legos. Each block is a monomer.
When you hook a bunch of blocks together,
you get a large chain (the polymer).
 There are two types of polymers (more on this
in a later unit).
 Natural
 Synthetic
 Natural Polymers
Proteins (monomer = amino acids)
Starch and Cellulose (monomer = sugar molecules)
DNA and RNA (monomer = purine and pyrimidine bases)
Synthetic Polymers
 Plastics
 polyethylene (PE) also known as polythene
 polyvinylchloride (PVC)
 polystyrene also known as Styrofoam
 Sodium polyacrylate (the absorbent polymer in Huggies diapers)
Fibers (nylon, rayon, polyester)
Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene)
The End
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