The main sources of organic compounds are plant and animal kingdoms. Organic compounds are isolated from these two natural sources by solvent extraction followed by purification. These two sources are again converted naturally into petroleum oil, natural gas, and coal. Organic compounds always contain carbon along with other elements that are needed for living organisms to function. All organic compounds are one time came from plants or animals many of our most important substance are still derived from these sources directly or indirectly.
Nowadays synthesis is the most important source of organic compounds. So, the sources of organic compounds, in short, are-
Plants and animals: By using suitable methods of isolation most of the organic compounds were obtained directly from plants and animals in the past and at present, these methods are continuing. Many organic compounds are obtained straightforwardly from plant and animals sources by a suitable method of isolation a few common examples are carbohydrates (cellulose, sugar, and starches) proteins (silk, wool, casein, and food proteins) fats and oils (cottonseed soybean oils lard, butter) alkaloids (quinine, morphine, strychnine) hormones, vitamins, perfumes, flavors and resins. There are four major categories are found in all living things: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. The compounds which are obtained from these sources are –
- Carbohydrates: Cellulose, starch, sugar, lactose, etc.
- Protein: Food proteins, wool, silk, casein, etc.
- Fats and oils: Cottonseed, soya bean oil, lard, butter, etc.
- Alkaloids: Quinine, morphine, ephedrine, etc.
- Perfumes: Citral, limonen, mascone, etc.
- Vitamins: Vit. C, B2, B6, etc.
- Hormones, Resins, rubber, etc.
Petroleum oil and natural gas: Hundreds of hydrocarbons such as methane, octane, kerosene, petrol, benzene, toluene and other petrochemicals are obtained which are further used as raw materials of polymers, plastics, synthetic rubber, explosives, etc. Natural gas and petroleum are now the key sources of organic compounds they are used as fuels and also, through the synthetic organic reaction for the production of hundreds of valuable organic substances such as solvents, synthetic rubber, explosive, and plastic. The main energy source, fuel is obtained from natural gas and crude petroleum oil. Urea is a good example which is obtained from natural gas on our planet.
Coal: Another fossil fuel coal is the major source of organic compounds, coal-tar are raw materials of many aromatic compounds. Coal is another key source of organic compounds. It yields coke and coal-tar on hydrolysis or destructive distillation more than 200 organic compounds have been in a straight line isolated from coal-tar, these coal-tar products from the starting resources for the manufacture of thousands of helpful aromatic compounds, including perfumes, drugs, dyes, photographic developers, and other.
Synthesis: Simple organic compounds resulting from petroleum or coals have been transformed into thousands of helpful resources by a synthetic process. Many useful organic compounds including drugs, vitamins, plastics, dyes, etc. are prepared from simple raw materials by multistep synthesis. Many examples might be cited of synthetic organic compounds replacing those obtained from natural sources, such as dyes, rubber, fibers, plastic, drugs, vitamins in many cases the synthetic materials are better to the natural compounds replaced for example, synthetic dyes are greater to those of usual source in other cases the synthetic resources are completely unidentified in nature and fill the requirements not contented are completely other sources. Examples are ether glycol; aspirin, and sulfur drugs, synthetic organic chemistry touches almost every phase of life.