The History of Synthetic Organic Chemistry

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Synthetic Organic Chemistry started out when chemist Friedrich Wohler performed the synthesis of urea in 1828

He excitedly told his former mentor, JonsJakob Berzelius about his new discovery that later on developed the world of organic compound and inorganic compounds. That one synthesis of organic compound led chemists to work on synthesizing different compounds and building-up complex molecules resulting in discovering new route of synthesis for certain targeted molecules that could be medicinally important active ingredients, natural products, or organic products. Synthetic organic chemicals are man-made and contains carbon atoms; since organic compounds are mainly organic because of the carbon atom in its structure.

The Process of Synthetic Organic Chemistry

The processes in doing organic synthetic chemistry involves synthetic analysis and planning. We all know that the process is so much complicated than that but we’ll tackle two ways in choosing starting materials.

  1. Total Synthesis – this uses purely and simple inorganic compounds to create complex molecular structure that results in a completely different compound. This aim is to discover new chemical reactions and chemical reagents. It also aim to find a new route of synthesis for a certain targeted molecule.
  2. Semi-Synthesis or partial chemical synthesis – this uses organic compounds from natural sources as starting material to produce compounds with medicinal properties. Unlike inorganic compounds, organic compounds have higher complexity thus developing compounds that contributes highly in synthetic organic chemistry.

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Synthetic Organic Chemistry vs Natural Organic Chemistry

First, let’s describe natural organic chemistry, as the name itself these are the chemicals that can be found in our nature and present in our everyday lives. The synthetic organic chemistry are chemicals produced by man and could be either helpful towards the development of organic chemistry or helpful as alternative to our natural medicines. Both of them have quite a similarity in their properties but they differ as to where it came from.

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