What Is the Difference Between Organic and Inorganic Matter?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 31, 2020 1:30:49 PM ET
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The main difference between organic and inorganic matter is organic compounds contain carbon and carbon-hydrogen bonds, while most inorganic compounds do not contain carbon. Organic compounds are produced by and are associated with living organisms. Inorganic compounds are created by non-living natural processes or human intervention.

Another difference between organic and inorganic compounds is organic matter will burn, but inorganic matter will not burn. Organic matter is found in living, or once-living, organisms, so it is biological in nature. Inorganic matter is generally obtained from non-living matter, so it is mineral in nature. Inorganic compounds are less complex than organic compounds. The presence of carbon prevents organic compounds from forming salts. Inorganic compounds can form salts and are readily soluble in water.

Organic matter has a slower reaction rate than inorganic matter. The slower reaction rate allows for the formation of more complex products during the reaction. When submerged in an aqueous solution, inorganic compounds are better conductors of heat and electricity than organic compounds. Organic matter has lower melting and boiling points than inorganic matter. Mostly ionic bonds are formed in inorganic matter, while covalent bonds are present in organic matter. Gasoline, urea, methane and fertilizers are common examples of organic matter. Pure water, air, minerals and metals are a few examples of inorganic matter.