Unit 12 – Organic Chemistry – Summary

In this unit, we have learnt some basic concepts in structure and reactivity of organic compounds, which are formed due to covalent bonding.

The nature of the covalent bonding in organic compounds can be described in terms of orbitals hybridisation concept, according to which carbon can have sp3, sp2 and sp hybridised orbitals.

The sp3, sp2 and sp hybridised carbons are found in compounds like methane, ethene and ethyne respectively.

The tetrahedral shape of methane, planar shape of ethene and linear shape of ethyne can be understood on the basis of this concept. A sp3 hybrid orbital can overlap with 1s orbital of hydrogen to give a carbon - hydrogen (C–H) single bond (sigma, σ bond).

Overlap of a sp2 orbital of one carbon with sp2 orbital of another results in the formation of a carbon–carbon σ bond. The unhybridised p orbitals on two adjacent carbons can undergo lateral (side-by-side) overlap to give a pi (π) bond.

Organic compounds can be represented by various structural formulas. The three dimensional representation of organic compounds on paper can be drawn by wedge and dash formula. Organic compounds can be classified on the basis of their structure or the functional groups they contain.

A functional group is an atom or group of atoms bonded together in a unique fashion and which determines the physical and chemical properties of the compounds.

The naming of the organic compounds is carried out by following a set of rules laid down by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

In IUPAC nomenclature, the names are correlated with the structure in such a way that the reader can deduce the structure from the name.

Organic reaction mechanism concepts are based on the structure of the substrate molecule, fission of a covalent bond, the attacking reagents, the electron displacement effects and the conditions of the reaction. These organic reactions involve breaking and making of covalent bonds.

A covalent bond may be cleaved in heterolytic or homolytic fashion. A heterolytic cleavage yields carbocations or carbanions, while a homolytic cleavage gives free radicals as reactive intermediate.

Reactions proceeding through heterolytic cleavage involve the complimentary pairs of reactive species. These are electron pair donor known as nucleophile and an electron pair acceptor known as electrophile.

The inductive, resonance, electromeric and hyperconjugation effects may help in the polarisation of a bond making certain carbon atom or other atom positions as places of low or high electron densities.

Organic reactions can be broadly classified into following types; substitution, addition, elimination and rearrangement reactions.

Purification, qualitative and quantitative analysis of organic compounds are carried out for determining their structures.

The methods of purification namely : sublimation, distillation and differential extraction are based on the difference in one or more physical properties.

Chromatography is a useful technique of separation, identification and purification of compounds. It is classified into two categories : adsorption and partition chromatography.

Adsorption chromatography is based on differential adsorption of various components of a mixture on an adsorbent. Partition chromatography involves continuous partitioning of the components of a mixture between stationary and mobile phases.

After getting the compound in a pure form, its qualitative analysis is carried out for detection of elements present in it. Nitrogen, sulphur, halogens and phosphorus are detected by Lassaigne’s test. Carbon and hydrogen are estimated by determining the amounts of carbon dioxide and water produced.

Nitrogen is estimated by Dumas or Kjeldahl’s method and halogens by Carius method. Sulphur and phosphorus are estimated by oxidising them to sulphuric and phosphoric acids respectively. The percentage of oxygen is usually determined by difference between the total percentage (100) and the sum of percentages of all other elements present.

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