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What are examples of inorganic substances?

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Quick Answer

Examples of inorganic substances include all metals, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, salt, minerals such as gypsum and generally all compounds that do not contain carbon-hydrogen bonds. By definition, an inorganic substance is a substance that does not contain carbon.

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Inorganic substances are often compared with organic substances. Unlike inorganic substances, organic substances contain carbon bonds. If a substance is not organic, it is considered inorganic.

Both inorganic and organic substances have differing properties and uses. Inorganic substances in most cases have high melting points and particular high or low electrical conductivity properties, they do not burn, they are not and never were living, and they are not produced by growth. Inorganic substances are used in many applications and in various fields such as medicine. Often, they are used as coatings, catalysts, medicines, pigments and fuels.

While inorganic substances do not contain carbon, some compounds that contain carbon are traditionally deemed as inorganic such as carbonates, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. In inorganic chemistry, many living species are not intrinsically compounds, but ions such as proteins. Other types of ions that are essential for life include phosphate, chloride and sodium ions. Some inorganic molecules are also essential for life, such as water, oxygen and carbon dioxide.

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