Organic Compounds - Classification Of Organic Compounds

What are Organic Compounds?

The compounds in solid, liquid or gaseous state which contain carbon in its molecule are known as organic compounds. There are a large number of organic compounds and therefore a proper systematic classification was required. Organic compounds can be broadly classified as acyclic (open chain) or cyclic (closed chain). Moving on to their classification in detail:

Organic Compounds

Classification of Organic Compounds

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1. Acyclic or Open Chain Compounds:

These compounds are also known as aliphatic compounds, they have branched or straight chains. Following are the examples in this category.


Examples of Acyclic or open chain compounds

2. Alicyclic or Closed Chain or Ring Compounds:

These are cyclic compounds which contain carbon atoms connected to each other in a ring (homocyclic). When atoms other than carbon are also present then it is called as heterocyclic. Examples of this type are as follows:


Examples of Alicyclic or closed chain or ring compounds

They exhibit some properties similar to aliphatic compounds.

3. Aromatic Compounds

They are a special type of compounds which contain benzene and other ring related compounds. Similar to alicyclic, they can also have heteroatoms in the ring. Such compounds are called heterocyclic aromatic compounds. Some of the examples are as follows:

(a) Benzenoid aromatic compounds


Examples of Aromatic compounds

(b) Non-benzenoid aromatic compounds


Example of Non-benzenoid aromatic compound

4. Heterocyclic Aromatic Compounds

Heterocyclic aromatic

Examples of Heterocyclic aromatic compounds

Organic compounds can also be classified on the basis of functional groups into families or homologous series.

1. Functional group

The functional group can be defined as an atom or a group of atoms that are joined together in a specific manner which is responsible for the characteristic chemical properties of organic compounds. Examples, in this case, are the hydroxyl group -OH, aldehyde group -CHO and carboxylic acid group -COOH.

2. Homologous series

A group or a series of organic compounds in which each member contains the same characteristic functional group and differs from each other by a fixed unit form a homologous series and therefore its members are known as homologous. The members of the homologous series can be represented by a general formula and the successive members differ from each other in the molecular formula by a CH2 unit. There are a number of homologous series in organic chemistry such as alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, haloalkanes, alkanols, amines, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by organic compounds?

Organic compound, one of a large class of chemical compounds in which one or more carbon atoms are covalently paired with other elements ‘ atoms, most commonly hydrogen, oxygen, or nitrogen.

What is an example of an organic chemical?

Types include gasoline, plastics, detergents, colorants, food additives, natural gas, and drugs. Soap and detergent are two different examples of organic chemistry, although both are used for washing.

What are the uses of organic compounds?

Organic molecules are used in a variety of industries in human society, including food, pharmaceuticals, fuels, and building, to name but a few. Alkanes include chemical substances such as propane, octane, and methane. These are commonly used as oils for items like gasoline in the car and heating/cooking oil in the home.

Why are organic compounds useful?

Organic compounds are essential because they contain carbon in all living organisms. They are the basic components that move the world in many of the cycles. For example, the carbon cycle which involves exchanging carbon in photosynthesis and cell respiration between plants and animals.

What organic compounds are used in medicine?

Compounds used as medicinal products are most usually organic compounds, sometimes divided into large groups of small organic molecules (e.g., atorvastatin, fluticasone, clopidogrel) and “biologics” (infliximab, erythropoietin, insulin glargine), the latter more widely used as protein medicinal products.

This article deals with the classification of organic compounds. For any further detail on this topic install BYJU’S – the learning app.


  1. Okoroafor Chinonso Francisca

    Tans for ur teaching, i appreciate so much

  2. So useful for my notes.. Really thank you.. God bless your channel.

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