Characteristics of organic compounds:
All organic compounds have the following characteristic properties.
1. They are covalent compounds of carbon and generally insoluble in water and readily soluble in organic solvent such as benzene, toluene, ether, chloroform etc...
2. Many of the organic compounds are inflammable (except CCl4).They possess low boiling and melting points due to their covalent nature
3. Organic compounds are characterised by functional groups. A functional group is an atom or a specific combination of bonded atoms that react in a characteristic way, irrespective of the organic molecule in which it is present. In almost all the cases, the reaction of an organic compound takes place at the functional group. They exhibit isomerism which is a unique phenomenon.
4. Homologous series: A series of organic compounds each containing a characteric functional group and the successive members differ from each other in molecular formula by a CH2 group is called homologous series. Eg.
Alkanes: Methane (CH4), Ethane (C2H6), Propane (C3H8) etc..
Alcohols: Methanol (CH3OH), Ethanol (C2H5OH) Propanol (C3H7OH) etc..)
Compounds of the homologous series are represented by a general formula Alkanes CnH2n+2, Alkenes CnH2n, Alkynes CnH2n-2 and can be prepared by general methods. They show regular gradation in physical properties but have almost similar chemical property.