What Is The Differences between Organic and Inorganic Compounds?

So, what is the main difference between organic and inorganic compounds? The former has one or more carbon atoms in the structure while the latter may or may not have carbon atoms. 

Chemistry is a branch of science that deals with the study of substances and their properties. It is further sub-divided into organic and inorganic chemistry.  Organic chemistry deals with the study of organic compounds and inorganic chemistry the study of inorganic compounds. Many learners find it hard to differentiate these compounds.

This article provides a detailed explanation of the differences between organic and inorganic compounds in terms of solubility, density, formation, melting, and boiling points. 

Differences between Organic and Inorganic Compounds(With Table)

Basic Terms

Organic Compounds

Inorganic Compounds


These are chemical compounds that have one or more carbon atoms.

These are chemical compounds that do not have carbon atoms.


Low density

High density

Solubility in Water


Highly soluble


Occur as a result of living organisms.

Occur as a result of natural processes.


Poor conductor of electricity in an aqueous state.

Good conductor of electricity in an aqueous state.


Lower viscosity

Higher viscosity

Boiling Point

Higher boiling point

Lower boiling point

Melting Point

Higher melting point

Lower melting point

Nature Existence

Complex and biologically.

Simple and in mineral form.

Salt Formation

No salt formed

Result in salt formation

Type of Formation

Carbon atoms get bonded with hydrogen atoms.

No particular type of formation.


No metals ions involved

Metal ions are involved.


Not reactive

Quite reactive

Physical State

Solid, Liquid, and Gas

Only solid-state


Nucleic acids, sucrose, enzymes, benzene, methane, fats, and ethanol.

Salt, metals, silver, sulfur, pure diamond, and silver

What Is Organic Compounds?

Organic compounds constitute a diverse and extensive category of chemical substances predominantly comprised of carbon atoms bonded to other elements like hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and halogens. Carbon, renowned for its unique bonding capabilities, acts as the fundamental framework for these molecules, making them the fundamental constituents of life.

These compounds exhibit a broad spectrum of structures, functions, and properties, and they are ubiquitous in living organisms, encompassing plants, animals, and microorganisms. The intricate nature of organic molecules stems from the versatility of carbon bonds, resulting in an immense array of chemical configurations.

Within the realm of organic compounds, there are several major groups. Hydrocarbons, solely composed of carbon and hydrogen, can be categorized into alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. Heterocyclic compounds feature rings of carbon atoms with at least one heteroatom like nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur. Functional groups, such as hydroxyl, carbonyl, and amino groups, define specific chemical characteristics.

Functional categories like organic acids and bases showcase compounds with acidic or basic properties, often featuring groups like carboxyl or amino. Additionally, polymers, which are large molecules formed by repeating smaller units called monomers, play a significant role. Proteins, DNA, and carbohydrates exemplify organic polymers.

In the realm of biochemistry, organic compounds are pivotal, constituting the molecular basis of essential structures like proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. Beyond life sciences, organic compounds are crucial in various industrial applications, including the production of plastics, pharmaceuticals, and synthetic materials. The study of organic chemistry is indispensable for comprehending the properties, reactions, and applications of these compounds in both natural and synthetic contexts.

What Is Inorganic Compounds?

Inorganic compounds constitute a diverse category of chemical substances that lack carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds. Unlike organic compounds, which are often associated with living organisms, inorganic compounds are prevalent in both living and non-living matter. They can be found in minerals, rocks, metals, and various synthetic materials, forming a broad field of study known as inorganic chemistry.

Within the realm of inorganic compounds, a wide array of substances exists, each with unique structures, properties, and functions. Common examples include salts, which are ionic compounds formed by the combination of metal cations and non-metal anions, such as sodium chloride (NaCl). Oxides, composed of oxygen and another element, include familiar compounds like carbon dioxide (CO2) and iron oxide (rust).

Acids and bases, critical in chemical reactions and industrial processes, are also considered inorganic compounds. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) are examples of inorganic acids and bases, respectively. Metals and alloys, coordination compounds, and minerals, which have specific crystalline structures, are also prominent members of the inorganic compound category.

Inorganic compounds play crucial roles in various scientific, industrial, and technological applications. They contribute to fields such as catalysis, materials science, electronics, and medicine. While the traditional distinction between organic and inorganic compounds relied on the presence of carbon-hydrogen bonds, exceptions exist, and certain carbon-containing compounds are considered inorganic based on their properties and behavior.

In summary, inorganic compounds form a diverse and integral part of the chemical landscape, with applications ranging from natural minerals to synthetic materials. Their study provides insights into the physical world, contributing significantly to our understanding of the composition and behavior of matter.

Differences Between Organic and Inorganic Compounds

  1. Organic compounds tend to contain a bond between carbon and hydrogen while inorganic compounds do not.
  2. Organic compounds are chemical compounds found in living things while inorganic compounds occur in non-living things.
  3. The existence nature of organic compounds is biological whereas those of inorganic compounds are mineral form.
  4. Chemical compounds of organic compounds are quite complex while those of inorganic compounds are simple.
  5. The bond between organic compounds is covalent while that of inorganic compounds is an ionic bond.
  6. Inorganic compounds can be used to make salt while inorganic compounds cannot be used to make any salt.
  7. Organic compounds are commonly insoluble in water while inorganic compounds are soluble in water.
  8. All organic compounds are volatile and flammable while inorganic compounds are both non-volatile and non-flammable.
  9. Inorganic compounds are chemicals that contain metal atoms while organic compounds do not contain metal atoms.
  10. The melting and boiling points of organic compounds are too high due to the covalent bond which is strong while that of inorganic compounds is low due to weak intermolecular forces.
  11. Inorganic compounds contain metal ions whereas organic compounds do not contain metal ions
  12. The rate of reaction of organic compounds is slow while that of inorganic compounds is faster
  13. Organic compounds are soluble in water while inorganic compounds are either soluble or insoluble in water
  14. organic compounds are volatile and inflammable while inorganic compounds are non-volatile and non-inflammable. 

Similarities Between Organic and Inorganic Compounds

  1. Both contain carbon atoms
  2. Both are soluble in organic solvents
  3. Both have intermolecular bonds 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are Proteins Organic or Inorganic?

Proteins have carbon atoms in their structure. Therefore, any compound that contains a carbon atom is regarded to be an organic compound. Hence, proteins are organic compounds. 

  • Can the Human Body Absorb Inorganic Minerals?

The human body has no power to extract inorganic minerals from the soil like plants. Therefore, they benefit the most from these inorganic compounds by consuming some plants. 

  • Is Human Body Organic or Inorganic?

The human body structure composes of carbon atoms. Hence, the human body can be termed as organic in nature though it contains a few elements of inorganic compounds like iron, magnesium, and calcium. 

  • Are Inorganic Minerals Bad for You?

Inorganic minerals have no nutritional benefit to the human body. Some minerals can cause injuries to the digestive system. Meanwhile, those minerals present in the body of animals and plants are organic. 

  • Is Water Organic or Inorganic?

Water is an inorganic compound since it does not contain a carbon atom. Organic compounds tend to contain carbon atoms in their structure. 

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The distinctions between organic and inorganic compounds are fundamental to the field of chemistry. Organic compounds primarily consist of carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds and are often associated with living organisms, displaying diverse structures and functions such as proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates. In contrast, inorganic compounds lack C-H bonds and are prevalent in both living and non-living matter, including minerals, salts, and metals.

Organic compounds form the basis of biochemistry, contributing to life’s molecular structures. They are known for their complexity, versatility, and participation in processes like photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Inorganic compounds, on the other hand, encompass a wide range of substances with distinct properties, such as ionic salts, metal alloys, and minerals with crystalline structures.

While the traditional classification hinges on the presence of C-H bonds, some carbon-containing compounds like carbonates and cyanides are considered inorganic due to their properties. Organic compounds are often studied in organic chemistry, focusing on their synthesis, structure, and reactions. Inorganic chemistry, on the other hand, investigates the properties and behaviors of inorganic compounds across various fields, including materials science, catalysis, and medicine.

In summary, the key disparities lie in the presence of C-H bonds, the association with living organisms, and the diverse applications of these compounds. Organic compounds are intricately linked to life processes, while inorganic compounds are integral to both living and non-living aspects of the chemical world, contributing significantly to our understanding of matter and its applications.

More Sources and References

  1. Organic Compound. Wikipedia

  2. Inorganic Compound. Wikipedia

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