Organic compounds

An organic compound is a molecular compound with a backbone consisting of carbon and hydrogen atoms (ex: CH4, CH3OH, CH3COOH). All other molecular compounds are inorganic (ex: CO, CO2). Organic compounds are either natural (occurring in nature) or synthetic (man-made).

Organic compounds that contain only carbon atoms and hydrogen atoms are called hydrocarbons. There are three types:

aliphatic hydrocarbons
chains and rings (includes alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes)
aromatic hydrocarbons
rings with alternating single and double bonds (benzene)
hydrocarbon derivatives
hydrocarbons with atoms other than carbon and hydrogen