Inorganic compound

Inorganic compound

Traditionally, inorganic compounds are considered to be of mineral, not biological, origin. Complementarily, most organic compounds are traditionally viewed as being of biological origin. Over the past century, the precise classification of inorganic vs organic compounds has become less important to scientists, primarily because the majority of known compounds are synthetic and not of natural origin. Furthermore, most compounds considered the purview of modern inorganic chemistry contain organic ligands. The fields of organometallic chemistry and bioinorganic chemistry explicitly focus on the areas between the fields of organic, biological, and inorganic chemistry.

Inorganic compounds can be formally defined with reference to what they are not—organic compounds. Organic compounds are those which contain carbon, although some carbon-containing compounds are traditionally considered inorganic. When considering inorganic chemistry and life, it is useful to recall that many species in nature are not compounds per se but are ions. Sodium, chloride, and phosphate ions are essential for life, as are some inorganic molecules such as carbonic acid, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water and oxygen. Aside from these simple ions and molecules, virtually all species covered by bioinorganic chemistry contain carbon and can be considered organic or organometallic.

Inorganic carbon compounds

Many compounds that contain carbon are considered inorganic; for example, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonates, cyanides, cyanates, carbides, and thyocyanates. In general, however, workers in these areas are not concerned about strict definitions.

Coordination chemistry

A large class of compounds discussed in inorganic chemistry textbooks are coordination compounds. Examples range from species that are strictly inorganic, such as [Cobalt(III) hexammine chloride| [Co(NH3)6] Cl3] , to organometallic compounds such as Fe(C5H5)2 and extending to bioinorganic compounds, such as the hydrogenase enzymes.


Minerals are mainly oxides and sulfides, which are strictly inorganic. In fact, most of the earth and the universe is inorganic. Although the components of the earth's crust are well elucidated, the processes of mineralization and the composition of the deep mantle remain active areas of investigation, which are mainly covered in geology-oriented venues.

ee also

* List of inorganic compounds
* Inorganic compounds by element
* organic compound

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  • inorganic compound — neorganinis junginys statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. inorganic compound vok. anorganische Verbindung, f rus. неорганическое соединение, n pranc. composé inorganique, m; composé minéral, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • inorganic compound — Any substance in which two or more chemical elements other than carbon are combined, nearly always in definite proportions (see bonding), as well as some compounds containing carbon but lacking carbon carbon bonds (e.g., carbonates, cyanides).… …   Universalium

  • inorganic compound — noun a) Any compound not containing carbon atoms. b) Any compound containing carbon atoms ionically bound to other atoms. Ant: organic compound …   Wiktionary

  • inorganic compound — noun any compound that does not contain carbon • Hypernyms: ↑compound, ↑chemical compound • Hyponyms: ↑carbide …   Useful english dictionary

  • inorganic compound — Historically, chemicals that could not be derived from living processes. In modern usage, chemicals that do not contain carbon, although carbonates and a few other simple carbon compounds are generally regarded as inorganic …   Glossary of Biotechnology

  • inorganic compound — a compound that contains no carbon, except for binary compounds such as carbon oxides and carbon disulfide; ternary compounds such as metallic cyanides, metallic carbonyls, and phosgene; and the metallic carbonates …   Medical dictionary

  • Inorganic chemistry — For the journal, see Inorganic Chemistry (journal). Inorganic compounds show rich variety: A: Diborane features unusual bonding B: Caesium chloride has an archetypal crystal structure C: Fp2 is an organometallic complex D …   Wikipedia

  • compound — compound1 compoundable, adj. compoundedness, n. compounder, n. adj. /kom pownd, kom pownd /; n. /kom pownd/; v. /keuhm pownd , kom pownd/, adj. 1. composed of two or more parts, elements, or ingredients: Soap is a compound substance. 2 …   Universalium

  • inorganic — 1. adjective a) relating to a compound that does not contain carbon b) that does not originate in a living organism 2. noun An inorganic compound …   Wiktionary

  • inorganic — [in΄ôr gan′ik] adj. not organic; specif., a) designating or composed of matter that is not animal or vegetable; not having the organized structure of living things b) not like an organism in structure; without design, relation, and coordination… …   English World dictionary

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