Mark asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 3 months ago

Why is someone telling me that CO2 is inorganic, but ethanol is not?

We were talking about methods of cannabinoid extraction.  I thought super critical CO2 was the purest method of extraction but then someone chimed in saying that CO2 is inorganic, while ethanol is not.  Not sure what he's getting at.  I tried asking him what he meant, but he wouldn't reply, so what do you all think?

12 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    CO2  is both organic and inorganic. It depends on the nature of the reaction producing the CO2. 

    1. Acid plus carbonate produces CO2 ; Inorganic (Reactants are inorganic)

    2. Combusting an hydrocarbon/alcohol in air produces CO2 ; organic. (reactnant is organic)


    Remember, organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon reactions 

    Inorganc is any other reaction.

  • 2 months ago

    Ethanol is not an inorganic because ethanol  are alcohol so it is an organic compound as its main constituents are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. 

  • God
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Organic compounds are compounds of carbon excluding oxides and carbonates.  Your original point that supercritical CO2 is a good method of cannabinoid extraction is true.  Whether it's organic or inorganic is irrelevant. 

  • Jim
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Chemist: Organic? Any compound containing Carbon, such as CO₂

    Public: Anything raised organically.

    First, decide which kind of conversation you are having!

    "Inorganic" is a chemist term, so I would argue the first meaning!

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  • david
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    Originally. 300 years ago, and until about 100 years ago ORGANIC compounds were considered to come from living materials.  CO2 can come from burning coal .. Ethanol comes from sugars .. Fermentation etc.  Sometime about 100 years ago, Chemists developed ways to make some compounds, like simple amino acids, which before then only came from living materials.  ===  This started some confusion.  Since peope have tried various different definitions. .. like Requiring organics to also have hydrogen, but Freon is derived from Ethylene, by replacing the H with Cl and F atoms == so those are considered organic.

      Most C compounds are organic.  Few like CO2 are not.  I guess it is better to just learn a few exceptions, like spelling rules.

     ===  In my organic class about 50 years ago we started earning about synthesizing organics from inorganic.  So C had to be introduced into the compounds from those few that are considered inorganic.  Like using carbide  ---  calcium carbide as the starting substance because water reacts with it to release  C2H2 something that is considered organic

  • 3 months ago

    There are two fundamentally different meanings for the word "organic".

    1) When chemists say "organic" they mean, at least, it contains carbon atoms.  There is a certain group of chemists who maintain that for a compound to be "organic" it must also contain hydrogen atoms -- for the particular purpose of excluding carbon dioxide, and mineral carbonates.

    2) When the grocery speaks of "organic" it refers to the methods by which the produce is grown.  I suppose the growers of cannabis use the word this way.  In this context, it isn't clear to me what CO2 is -- since it is not produced by growing plants it probably isn't organic.  Whether processing something with supercritical CO2 makes the product inorganic seems to me to be quibbling.  If you washed the leaves with water first, would that make the leaves inorganic? even though water is not organic by anyone's definition.

    I agree with you that supercritical CO2 produces the purest product.  You can be certain that no CO2 remains in the extract (although it wouldn't matter much if it did) while there is always the possibility with other solvents for some of the solvent to remain in the extract.  The trouble with supercritical CO2 extraction is that it requires specialized equipment.

  • Dixon
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    It's pretty hard to get a clear definition of inorganic / organic but I would say that organic seems to be something with carbon that is a result of the life process.

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    It sounds like a person that while stating a fact was not really providing information germane to the topic of conversation, which I would guess is why he didn't respond to your question. Some people like to look smart even when they say stupid things. Both methods of extraction when done properly do not leave behind toxic residues which I think is what he was implying.

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    CH compounds are all organic.

  • Organic compounds need Carbon, but most of them (maybe even all of them) also have hydrogen. CO2 is inorganic, google it

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