Organic Compounds

Chemists observed that there were two types of substances. Those from non-living matter and those from living matter. They were classified into two categories which include inorganic substances and organic substances. Many similar properties were observed by the Chemists. Most inorganic substances were observed to change very little, if any, when heated. Also, organic substances were thought to be produced only by living organisms.
Later in time organic substances were studied in greater detail. Chemists learned that nearly all organic compounds are made of chains and rings of carbon atoms. Chemists then learned to synthesize some simple organic compounds directly from inorganic substances! This amazing discovery marked the beginning of modern organic chemist. Today we define organic chemistry as the chemistry of carbon compounds. (pg.579, Smoot, Price, and Smith, Merill Chemistry)
The largest group of organic compounds are the hydrocarbons. These compounds are composed only of carbon and hydrogen. Almost all other organic compounds can be considered as derivatives of the hydrocarbons. If the carbon atoms are linked in chains, the compounds are called aliphatic compounds. If the atoms are linked in rings, the compounds are called cyclic compounds. (pg.581, ...ibid...)

(Biology Pamphlet)
In terms of naming organic compounds the number of carbon-carbon chains are named using the prefixes below:

meth- 1 carbon
eth- 2
prop- 3
but- 4
pent- 5
hex- 6
hept- 7
oct- 8
non- 9
dec- 10

The simplest group of hydrocarbons is the alkanes. The carbon atom in these hydrocarbons is always saturated with hydrogen atoms. The first three members of the alkane family are methane - CH , ethane C H , and propane - C H . After butane the members of the alkane series are named using the Greek or Latin prefix for the numbering of carbon atoms. (pg.580...ibid...) Alkanes are named according to the longest chain and not according to the total number of carbon atoms in the molecule. The word ending characteristic of this family is -ane. ***The most important characteristic to remember is alkanes always mean single bonds, no multiple bonds.
Alkanes are able to have the same formula but different molecular structure, these types of alkanes are called isomers. They differ in the number of neutrons and therefore have different mass numbers. Most organic compounds have isomers. There is no known way of predicting exactly how many isomers most compounds can form.

Unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbons are the building blocks of the organic chemical industry. The term "unsaturated" indicates that the carbon atoms are not saturated with the maximum number of hydrogen atoms. Saturated hydrocarbons bond with four other atoms. Unsaturated hydrocarbons contain a multiple bond. There are 2 types of unsaturated hydrocarbons which we will talk about. They are the alkenes and the alkynes. (pg.73. Martin Sherwood, Chemistry Today.) These hydrocarbons may combine with other elements of compounds by adding on at the multiple bond. The alkenes contain double bonds and the alkynes contain triple bonds between the carbon atoms. The naming begins with the side of the compound starting with the multiple bond.

Aromatic Hydrocarbons
The simplest type of aromatic hydrocarbon is the benzene ring. The structure of benzene is unusual. Instead of having alternate long single and shorter double carbon-carbon bonds in the six-membered ring, all the bonds are of equal length. Each carbon atom of the benzene ring is bonded to a single hydrogen atom. The ability of chemists to replace these hydrogen atoms with other groupings has given rise to the vast number of aromatic hydrocarbons we know today. Many also occur naturally in the coal and oil deposits that lie beneath the earth's crust. Others are widespread in nature itself. (pg.74...ibid...,)

Cyclic hydrocarbons
They are a different form of alkanes, alkenes, or alkynes. They form a ring structure and have the prefix cyclo attached to the beginning of the name.

Alcohols
Alcohols are some of the most common and widely used chemicals. Methanol is the simplest. It has been used for many years as a solvent in dissolving other substances and as a fuel. Another well-known alcohol is ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. It has been used for thousands of years as an intoxicating ingredient in alcoholic beverages such as wine, mead, ale. All simple alcohols are liquids. Besides their physical uses as solvents and reaction media, alcohols are of great value to the chemist because they are versatile in chemical reactions. They can be converted