What Are Some Examples of Organic Chemicals?

An organic chemical is any molecule with at least one carbon atom forming its base, and a few examples of organic molecules include living matter such as the DNA of plants and animals, nonliving naturally occuring matter such as methane, fossil fuels and diamonds, and man-made materials such as carbon fiber.

Carbon, in addition to being the fourth most abundant element by mass in the universe, is the core element for a staggering amount of compounds on Earth. Carbon is special among the elements because it readily forms very strong and uniform bonds with almost any other element. Carbon atoms can also bond to form carbon chains of unlimited length that other elements and molecules can build from. For example, DNA and RNA have their foundations built upon carbon and are the building blocks of all known life.

Organic compounds are also often present in man-made technology. Nowadays, carbon fiber is applied in areas where much heavier metal was once used without sacrificing strength. Computer chips contain silicon, an element that has many similar properties to carbon but cannot form as tight or uniform bonds. Understanding and manipulating carbon and its forms has led to vast increases in computational power and electrical efficiency.