Organic chemistry is one of the most important branches of chemistry, contributing to many other scientific fields, including but not limited to inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, earth sciences, zoology, and medicine. Besides, many of the chemicals you use daily consist of organic compounds and the processes involve organic chemical reactions. For some reason, many people are still unaware of why organic chemistry matters. To clarify things even more, here are ten reasons why organic chemistry is so important:
#1. Organic Chemistry Studies Chemical Reactions Occurring Inside Living Beings
The main reason organic chemistry is so important is that it studies chemical reactions that take place in living beings. Without organic chemistry, scientists would not have been able to explore the mechanisms of different changes occurring during metabolism. In addition, organic chemistry provides detailed information about how different organic chemicals react to other compounds and which products are released in our bodies as a result of the chemical reactions.
#2. Organic Chemistry Is Essential for Understanding Biochemical Principles and Biotechnology
Since organic chemistry studies chemical reactions occurring in living beings, it is essential for understanding basic biochemical principles. Organic chemistry allows biochemists to explore specific chemical reaction mechanisms and determine factors influencing the way organic compounds react with other chemicals. Organic chemistry also contributes to biotechnology, which involves the use of living organisms and various bioprocesses to create or modify products. Without organic synthesis reactions, medical, agricultural, industrial, and environmental biotechnology branches would not have existed.
#3. Organic Chemistry Allows Scientists to Create and Explore New Chemicals
Organic chemistry is a laboratory-based science that involves the production of organic compounds from scratch. Organic chemistry leads to the synthesis of numerous useful products, including agricultural chemicals, drugs, food additives, plastics, paint, enzymes, cosmetics, and various synthetic materials. Along with synthesizing many essential substances, organic chemists develop efficient ways to produce compounds, making the overall process even more valuable.
#4. Organic Chemistry Is Crucial for Studying Earth Sciences
Earth sciences comprise five major areas, including geology, hydrology, meteorology, astronomy, and environmental science. On many occasions, earth scientists rely largely on organic chemistry principles. Organic chemistry allows geologists to study different materials on earth and how they change over time. It also provides the basis for quantitative and qualitative understanding of how our planet works and evolves.
#5. Organic Chemistry Plays Key Role in Medicine and Pharmacy
Since organic chemistry is so important in medicine and pharmacy, there is a specific branch called medicinal organic chemistry. It utilizes knowledge of organic compounds to create, refine, and improve drugs and medication techniques. Synthetic organic chemistry also contributes to the discovery, research, and development of new medicines. Understanding organic chemistry is key to predicting the action of vitamins, supplements, and drugs, allowing healthcare professionals to choose the correct prescription and dosage.
#6. Organic Chemistry Studies and Synthesizes Polymers
Without organic chemistry, scientists would not have been able to study natural polymers or create synthetic ones. While natural organic polymers provide basic structural materials for living beings and participate in key biochemical processes, synthetic polymers are widely used in the production industry. Polymers are used as raw materials for a wide range of products, ranging from synthetic fabric and clothing to plastic items and polymer-based paints.
#7. Many Household Chemicals Consist of Organic Compounds
Organic chemistry is not only about studying and synthesizing organic compounds. It also involves the creation of organic chemical-based products that we use on a daily basis. In fact, numerous household chemicals include organic compounds. For example, soaps are fatty acid salts of sodium or potassium. Besides, detergents consist of surfactants, which are typically amphiphilic organic compounds, such as polyglucose and coconut oil alcohol. Some other organic compounds found in household products are benzene, acetone, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, and methylene chloride.
#8. Skincare and Cosmetic Products Contain Organic Chemicals as Active Ingredients
If you are using any skincare or cosmetic products, you have probably noticed that each has a specific active ingredient responsible for providing benefits. While these products often contain inorganic chemicals, most active ingredients are organic compounds. Some popular active ingredients in skincare products are Alpha (Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, etc.) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (Salicylic acid), Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Glycerine, Niacinamide, Retinoids, Peptides, Ceramides, and many more. These organic chemicals are also present in some cosmetic products, boosting their performance and offering various benefits for your skin. WIthout organic chemistry, scientists would not have been able to determine what active ingredients to use for different skincare products.
#9. Organic Chemistry Contributes to the Production of Perfumes and Fragrances
When making perfumes and fragrances, different organic chemicals are used to give them special scents and pleasant aromas. While natural ingredients already consist of organic chemicals, perfume components can also be synthesized in organic chemistry labs. For instance, methyl dihydrojasmonate (hedione) is an organic chemical that blends, fixes, and enhances the scent of other perfume components. If we are talking about the revolution in perfumery, aldehydes did the job. These organic chemicals not only give perfumes and fragrances unforgettable scents but also boost their performance. Summing up, organic chemistry allows scientists to synthesize perfume ingredients more efficiently.
#10. Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Consist of Hydrocarbons, Organic Compounds
Last but not least, organic chemistry is linked with gasoline and diesel fuel. The chemical composition of these crude oils mined from the earth is pretty straightforward. They consist of saturated, cyclic, and aromatic hydrocarbons, which are organic compounds. Therefore, organic chemistry also plays a fundamental role in gasoline and diesel fuel refining at petroleum refineries.