Organic, inorganic and analytical chemistry

Chemistry is the science focused on the composition, structure, properties and modifications of matter. According to the specific interest or object of study, different branches are presented such as organic and inorganic chemistry, although also analytical if the person stops more from an epistemological point of view, referenced to the instruments and methods to separate, quantify and identify to the same compounds.

DefinitionBranch of chemistry that studies components that mostly have carbon. It is associated with living creatures, such as plants or animals.Branch of chemistry that studies components and structures of inorganic elements, that is, not associated with life. Metals, salts and minerals.Branch of chemistry that deals with the methods and instruments used to study matter.
Uses or functionsIt has application in petrochemicals and the pharmaceutical industry.It has application in metallurgy, electronics and nanotechnology.Its application is in forensic medicine, engineering and science.

Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry is a branch of this science that studies a large number of molecules, the vast majority of which contain carbon forming covalent bonds: carbon with carbon, carbon with hydrogen and other heteroatoms known as organic compounds. And what relationship does organic have with that element called carbon? Well, in short, it is associated with life. So the compounds of a huge variety of beings that have “life” exhibit this trait. It is thought that it was John Kabol Berzelius who used this term, for the first time in 1807.

It is important to remember that the chemical symbol for carbon is C. It has the atomic number of six, which implies that in its nucleus there are six protons surrounded by the same number of electrons. Of these six electrons (any diagram can check), four are in valence: that is, they are shared with other elements to form other types of compounds. And in fact, the ability of carbon to form bonds is important, being able to combine with elements as varied as oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur, halogens and some metals. It can also be linked to other carbons, forming long chains.

Finally, we have organic compounds in proteins, sugars, acetic acid in vinegar, alcohol, among others. Regarding its use or application, it is extremely important, because organic compounds occur in a massive way. Good examples of the latter are the petrochemical companies that work with organic products derived from petroleum, the large pharmaceutical industry, among others.

Inorganic chemistry

Inorganic chemistry is a branch of chemical science that deals with the formation, composition, structure, and chemical reactions of inorganic elements and compounds. That is, as they do not have carbon-hydrogen bonds, it is not just about life, that is, elements without a biological origin. Here, in contrast to the central role of carbon as a builder of complex compositions, we find simpler chemical realities, counting between two to eight atoms in their very structure.

Inorganic chemistry also has very varied applications. One can think of metallurgy, so important throughout the history of mankind, with various scientific theories and technologies, to extract minerals from the same deposits and obtain, in view of multiple uses, the finished metal. Another application is electronics, if we take into account that they have an overwhelming presence of silicon and metals. Likewise, a very modern branch is nanotechnology, working with particles at very small atomic levels: millionths of a millimeter.

Analytical chemistry

If we maintain the classical distinction in chemistry, it is about elements that contain life from the leading presence of carbon; and those that don’t. This is why we speak of both organic and inorganic chemistry. However, if we mention analytical chemistry, it really refers to the use of instruments and methods to separate, identify and even quantify the same matter. For this reason, here we are talking about analytes, which is really a unit of analysis, in an epistemological sense: if the study is qualitative, the analytes are studied and identified; if it is quantitative, the quantity and its numerical concentration are determined.

And in truth, analytical chemistry is very well known, especially with respect to its classical methodology. Precipitation, extraction or distillation activities derive from it, which involve differences in color, odor, melting points, boiling points, radioactivity, etc. Therefore, analytical chemistry has a strong experimental bias, very clear in terms of the change and improvements not only of the methods (let’s think of a branch such as chemometrics that applies mathematical models to chemistry), but also the instruments used, in where evolution is always sought in the improvement of measurements.

Analytical chemistry has wide applications in fields such as forensic medicine, medicine, science, and engineering.

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