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In
chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a with other . ...

chemistry
, an inorganic compound is typically a
chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be ...
that lacks
carbon–hydrogen bondThe carbon-hydrogen bond (C–H bond) is a bond between carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In che ...
s, that is, a compound that is not an
organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon s), millions of organic compounds are known. The study of the properties, reactions, and syntheses of organic compounds compr ...
. However, the distinction is not clearly defined; authorities have differing views on the subject. The study of inorganic compounds is a subfield of chemistry known as ''
inorganic chemistry#REDIRECT Inorganic chemistry features unusual bonding B: Caesium chloride Caesium chloride or cesium chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula Caesium, CsChloride, Cl. This colorless salt is an important source of caesium ions in a var ...
''. Inorganic compounds comprise most of the
Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust is a thin shell on the outside of Earth, accounting for less than 1% of Earth's volume. It is the top component of the lithosphere, a division of Earth's layers that includes the Crust (geology), ...
, although the compositions of the deep mantle remain active areas of investigation. Some simple compounds that contain
carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth's crust. Three occur naturally, ...

carbon
are often considered inorganic. Examples include
carbon monoxide Carbon monoxide (chemical formula CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, flammable gas that is slightly less dense than air. Carbon monoxide consists of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom. It is the simplest molecule of the oxocarbon family. In ...

carbon monoxide
,
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is ...

carbon dioxide
,
carbide . In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms ...

carbide
s, and the following
salts In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during ...
of inorganic
cation An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are u ...
s:
carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its natural form as a crystallinity, crystalline mi ...

carbonate
s,
cyanide A cyanide is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by che ...

cyanide
s,
cyanate Cyanate is an anion An ion () is a particle, atom or molecule with a net electric charge, electrical charge. The charge of the electron is considered negative by convention. The negative charge of an ion is equal and opposite to charged p ...
s, and
thiocyanate Thiocyanate (also known as rhodanide) is the anion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having ...
s. Many of these are normal parts of mostly organic systems, including
organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological ...

organism
s; describing a chemical as inorganic does not necessarily mean that it does not occur within
living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms ** extant taxon, Living species, one that is not extinct *Personal life, the course of an individual human ...

living
things.


History

Friedrich Wöhler Friedrich Wöhler () FRS(For) HFRSE Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy of science and Literature, letters, judged to be "em ...
's conversion of
ammonium cyanate Ammonium cyanate is an inorganic compound 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 ...
into
urea Urea, also known as carbamide, is an organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon s), millions of organic compounds are known. The study of the prop ...

urea
in 1828 is often cited as the starting point of modern
organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and th ...
. In Wöhler's era, there was widespread belief that
organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon s), millions of organic compounds are known. The study of the properties, reactions, and syntheses of organic compounds compr ...
s were characterized by a vital spirit. In the absence of vitalism, the distinction between inorganic and organic chemistry is merely semantic.


Modern usage

*The
Inorganic Crystal Structure DatabaseInorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD) is a chemical database founded in 1978 by Günter Bergerhoff (University of Bonn) and I. D. Brown (University of McMaster, Canada). It is now produced by FIZ Karlsruhe in Europe and the U.S. National Insti ...
(ICSD) in its definition of "inorganic" carbon compounds, states that such compounds may contain ''either'' C-H or C-C bonds, but not both. *The book series
Inorganic Syntheses ''Inorganic Syntheses'' is a book series which aims to publish "detailed and foolproof" procedures for the synthesis of inorganic compounds In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemi ...
does not define inorganic compounds. The majority of its content deals with metal complexes of organic ligands. *
IUPAC The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering OrganizationsNational Adhering Organizations in chemistry are the organizations that work as the authoritative power over chemist ...
does not offer a definition of "inorganic" or "inorganic compound" but does define
inorganic polymer An inorganic polymer is a polymer A polymer (; Greek '' poly-'', "many" + '' -mer'', "part") is a substance or material consisting of very large molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentace ...
as "...skeletal structure that does not include carbon atoms."


See also

*
Inorganic compounds by element Although most compounds are referred to by their IUPAC The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering OrganizationsNational Adhering Organizations in chemistry are the organizat ...
*
List of inorganic compounds Although most compounds are referred to by their IUPAC The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering OrganizationsNational Adhering Organizations in chemistry are the organizat ...
*
List of named inorganic compounds Well-known inorganic In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and t ...
*
Mineral acid A mineral acid (or inorganic acid) is an acid An acid is a or capable of donating a (hydrogen ion H+) (a ), or, alternatively, capable of forming a with an (a ). The first category of acids are the proton donors, or s. In the special ...


References

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