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Talk:Inorganic chemistry

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 Definition The branch of chemistry involving the scientific study of the properties and reactions of all chemical elements and chemical compounds other than the vast number of organic compounds (compounds containing at least one carbon-hydrogen bond). [d] [e]

Began to expand this article

This stub article of a few sentence has been dormant since it was created over a year and a half ago. I expanded it a bit today and I plan to further expand it in the next week or so. Milton Beychok 05:35, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Silicones and clathrates

I'm perfectly willing to find I'm wrong, but I thought a silicone was a chain of Si-O-Si or, if you will accept stability only at low temperatures, Si-Si- chains with valence 4 silicon in place of carbon.

Yes, some clathrates are mixed organic, as with methane, but I thought the key aspect was the water "cage" around the encapsulated center -- and the first discovered was water around xenon. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:24, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Howard, first let me say that I don't believe that the inorganic chemistry Related Articles subpage is the proper place to list any of the vast multitude of conceivable inorganic compound unless there is a special, unique reason for listing a specific compound in that subpage. The same holds true for the organic chemistry Related Articles subpage. The place for such lists of inorganic or organic compounds is in stand-alone articles or in Catalog subpages ... or, better yet, left in books like the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics which devote hundreds of pages to such lists.
As for silicones and clathrates, there are rarely any absolutes about any definition. There are usually exceptions to any definition. To me, silicones are definitely organic compounds and clathrates/hydrates are also definitely organic compounds. But it is too trivial a thing to spend time debating ... so, if you wish, go ahead and relist them in the Related Articles subpage of this article of you feel there is some special, unique reason for doing so. Regards, Milton Beychok 23:43, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
My reason for listing silicones, containing no carbon, is that they are of significant biological interest, especially in exobiology, specifically because they can produce structures equivalent to the complexity of organic compounds. Clathrates are also a popular topic due to the memory of water, and in the blurry organic-inorganic matter of methane clanthrates, both a safety and an energy issue.
Howard, as I said above, if you feel there is a special or unique reason for listing silicones and clathrates in the Related Article subpage of this article (which you seem to have), then go ahead and do so. Milton Beychok 22:12, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I did think, however, that there was an near-absolute for the definition: inorganic compounds contain no carbon. The exception might be organic salts where the non-carbon is most interesting, such as lead acetate. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:20, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
The more correct definition of inorganic chemistry is that it does not include compounds having a carbon-hydrogen bond ( C-H bond). For example ( as listed in the main article) the carbon element itself is an inorganic as are carbon oxides, carbon sulfides and a number of other carbon-containing inorganics. Read the first paragraph in the "Distinctions between inorganic and organic chemistry" section. As for lead acetate, the distinguished American chemist, F. Albert Cotton (1930 - 2007), classifed organometallic compounds having a metal to carbon bond as being inorganics ... but lead acetate has metal to oxygen links, so I'm not sure whether it is inorganic or organic. Quoting from our CZ Chemistry article, "The distinction between organic and inorganic disciplines is not absolute and there is much overlap, most importantly in the sub-discipline of organometallic chemistry." Milton Beychok 22:12, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

The phrase "chemical bond" as used in defining organic compounds

I have protest regarding the phrase 'chemical bond' in this context:

"Inorganic chemistry is a subdiscipline of chemistry involving the scientific study of the properties and reactions of all chemical elements and chemical compounds other than the vast number of organic compounds (compounds containing at least one carbon-hydrogen chemical bond)."

According to Citizendium's Chemical bond article, the domain of the term includes bonds other than the covalent type. Isn't a covalent C-H bond the requisite for a compound to be organic? Matt Arenas Mercado 14:17, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Matt, I don't understand your comment. That introductory sentence says inorganic compounds includes all " ... chemical compounds other than the vast number of organic compounds (compounds containing at least one carbon-hydrogen chemical bond)." In other words, compounds having a C-H bond are organic compounds and are excluded from inorganic chemistry
Some authors define inorganic chemistry to include all compounds except those that contain carbon ... but .for example, that would mean that sodium carbonate, cyanides, carbon disulfide, and carbon dioxide would be excluded from being inorganic compounds. Other authors use the same definition as in this article (see reference 1). The purpose of the definition in this article is to avoid excluding compounds such as sodium carbonate, cyanides, carbon disulfide, carbon dioxide and others.
Would you prefer that the words "chemical bond" be revised to simply "bond" or what? How else would you write that phrase? Milton Beychok 16:32, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
I meant the compound needs a covalent C-H bond to be considered organic. "Chemical bond," simply, could refer to other types of bonds like ionic bonds.
This has bearing further on in the article. Oxalic acid(H2C2O4) was given as an example of a compound not having any C-H bond. However, oxalic acid's constituent C and H atoms do experience some degree of ionic bonding where, in some conformations where a C and an H are nearer, this is more pronounced. Therefore, the claim that oxalic acid does not have any C-H chemical bonds is not true, however, that it has no C-H covalent bonds is true. I would've changed the phrase, "chemical bond," in the definition to "covalent bond," thusly:
" ... chemical compounds other than the vast number of organic compounds (compounds containing at least one carbon-hydrogen covalent bond)." Matt Arenas Mercado 22:59, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Matt. Now that I understand your comment, I agree and I will make the wording change you suggested. Although a covalent bond is a chemical bond, your wording is more explicit than mine was. I hope to complete the "Typical organic reactions" section of the article within the next few hours. Milton Beychok 02:03, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Added the content to "Typical inorganic chemical reactions" section

I have added content to the "Typical inorganic chemical reactions" section. It was very tedious, highly detailed work that had numerous chemical reactions to format and a heck of a lot of wiki links to provide. I did my best to proof read it a number of times but yet there are quite probably some typos or formatting errors. I would very much appreciate it if a fresh set of eyes would review that section (or the whole article would be even better).

I don't plan to expand the article any further in the near future, but at least now we have an inorganics chemistry article. Milton Beychok 07:56, 9 October 2010 (UTC)