Evolution Of Organic Chemistry - 88tuition

Evolution Of Organic Chemistry - 88tuition



Organic chemistry is the study of carbon-containing compounds properties, reactions, and synthesis. Over thousands of years, organic chemistry has evolved dramatically, with significant shifts in concepts, techniques, and applications. Organic chemistry has played an important role in shaping our world, from the discovery of organic compounds in ancient times to the modern era of synthesizing new materials and developing life-saving drugs. We will look at the fascinating history and evolution of organic chemistry in detail. 

Origin Of Organic Chemistry 

Organic chemistry began in the early 1800s when chemists began to study the chemistry of compounds derived from living matter. Organic compounds, it was believed at the time, could only be produced by living organisms, not in a laboratory. In 1828, however, Friedrich Wöhler synthesized urea, an organic compound found in urine, from inorganic materials, thereby disproving vitalism and paving the way for the development of organic chemistry as a discipline.

Following Wöhler's discovery, many chemists began to investigate the chemistry of organic compounds resulting in the development of new synthetic methods as well as the identification of numerous new compounds. The concept of valence first appeared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

                            Urea: One of the most ancient Organic Product Developed 

Development Of Organic Chemistry

The evolution of organic chemistry is a fascinating story that began in the early nineteenth century and continues to this day. Early pioneers in the field, such as Justus von Liebig and Friedrich Wöhler, discovered that organic compounds could be synthesized from inorganic materials, causing the dominant vitalistic theory of the time to be rejected.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, organic chemistry underwent a series of revolutionary changes as chemists developed new theories and experimental techniques to understand the behaviour of organic compounds. With the discovery of new reaction mechanisms and the development of sophisticated spectroscopic techniques for the analysis of organic compounds in the mid-twentieth century, organic chemistry experienced a renaissance. Organic chemistry is now a thriving field with numerous sub-disciplines including biochemistry, polymer chemistry, and materials science. 

Pioneering Scientists 

Organic chemistry as a discipline owes a great deal to the contributions of many pioneering scientists. In 1828, Friedrich Wöhler synthesized urea. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, chemists such as Emil Fischer, Hermann Emil Fischer, and Wilhelm Ostwald developed new theories and experimental techniques that transformed the field of organic chemistry. Ostwald invented catalysis and contributed to the study of reaction kinetics. In the mid-twentieth century, Scientists such as Robert Woodward, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1965 for his work on the synthesis of complex organic compounds, and Linus Pauling, who made significant contributions to the study of molecular structure, were among those honoured.

                          Friedrich Wöhler: Father Of Organic Chemistry

Modern Day Organic Chemistry

Organic chemistry is a diverse and dynamic field that includes many sub-disciplines and has numerous applications in many fields. One of the most exciting areas of research in recent times is the development of new synthetic methods that allow chemists to create complex molecules with unprecedented precision and efficiency. Computational advances in organic chemistry have also played an important role in modernizing the subject. Another important area of research is the study of reaction mechanisms, which seeks to understand how chemical reactions occur at the molecular level. Understanding the mechanisms underlying chemical reactions allows researchers to develop new strategies for controlling and optimizing chemical reactions, which have important applications in fields such as pharmaceuticals and materials science.

Organic materials such as polymers and organic electronics are also studied in modern organic chemistry. Overall, modern organic chemistry is a dynamic and exciting field with numerous applications. The field is likely to continue to grow and evolve in novel and exciting ways as new techniques and technologies emerge.

                                   Polymer:  made up of linked subunits called monomers


To summarize, the history of organic chemistry over the last two centuries has been one of incredible discovery and innovation. From the early pioneers who first synthesized organic compounds from inorganic materials to modern-day researchers who are developing new synthetic methods and studying the chemistry of biological systems, the field has grown and evolved in response to new challenges and opportunities. Organic chemistry is a vibrant and rapidly expanding field with important applications in a variety of fields today, and it is likely to play an important role in shaping our understanding of the natural world and developing new technologies for many years to come.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some of the major challenges that organic chemists face today, and how   are they working to overcome them?

Organic chemists face numerous challenges today, including the development of more sustainable and efficient synthetic methods, the design of new materials with specific properties, and the understanding of the chemistry of complex biological systems. 

2. How has organic chemistry influenced society, and how has it influenced our understanding of nature?

Organic chemistry has made a significant contribution to society by facilitating the development of new medicines, materials, and technologies. It has also helped us understand the natural world by revealing the structure and properties of biological molecules as well as the chemical processes that occur in living systems.

3. What does the future hold for organic chemistry, and what are some of the emerging areas of organic chemistry 

The future of organic chemistry appears bright, with many new areas of research and technological advancements on the horizon. The development of environmentally friendly and efficient synthetic methods, such as the use of renewable feedstocks and catalysts, is one of the primary areas of focus. Researchers are also working to develop novel materials, such as biodegradable plastics and advanced electronic materials.