Inorganic compounds with Definition, Characteristics, and Types their Examples

Inorganic compounds

Inorganic compounds are those which do not contain any carbon atoms. They are simple due to the fact that they do not have any complex-type bonds in their composition. They are generally mineral compounds and the vast majority of them have a metal present. You could argue that the majority of compounds that exist in the universe are inorganic, which makes them abundant, and their uses endless.

Inorganic compounds What are they, characteristics, types, properties, examples

What are inorganic compounds?

Inorganic compounds are substances that do not have a carbon skeleton. They can be made up of different elements, mainly water, but they will never have carbon as their main element.

  • Characteristics of inorganic compounds
  • Types
  • Properties
  • Formulation
  • How inorganic compounds are formed
  • What are they for
  • Importance
  • Environmental impact
  • Examples of inorganic compounds

Characteristics of inorganic compounds

Among the main characteristics that can be observed in organic compounds we mention the following:

  • They are found in most elements known to man.
  • They can be inert or dead substances that do not have carbon.
  • Its main element is carbon.
  • They have high boiling points as well as melting points.
  • As they have metals within their composition, they have a tendency to conduct electricity except when they are in solid states.
  • They tend to have colors due to the configuration of their electrons, especially bright ones.
  • They are quite soluble when they come into contact with water, they can even lead to dissolving.
  • They have the ability to form crystals in saturated solutions.


There are four types of inorganic compounds, these are the following:

  • Basic oxides: they occur through the union of a metal with oxygen mainly when there is contact between the environment and the atmosphere. For this reason, this type of compound is common to find in nature.
  • Acidic oxides: are formed through contact between a non-metallic compound plus oxygen, this anointing produces an acid when it fuses with water. This type of compound is used mostly in industry and commerce and can be found in soft drinks.
  • Hydrides: they are the result of the alloy that occurs between hydrogen and metal and are used mainly in the field of industry, specifically in the creation of connectors and synthesizers of substances.
  • Acids: acids are compounds that are produced not by combination but by dilution of a certain liquid that causes hydrogen ions to be released. This can only be done using special equipment as acids have a high corrosion capacity, which is why they are considered highly dangerous.


Among the physical properties of organic compounds we have are:

  • It’s melting and boiling points are much lower.
  • Most inorganic compounds are insoluble in water, but there are some exceptions.
  • They have the ability to act as a type of fuel.
  • They have isomers in their structures.
  • They can form a series of chains or bonds of carbon with the same element or with different ones.


Regarding the formulation or nomenclature of inorganic compounds, they have various types of structures depending on the number of atoms they have in the composition of their molecules. In the case of oxides, the nomenclature used is Stock and IUPAC.

The peroxides are named using the same term to later place the name of the metal, in addition, an oxygen molecule must be added to them. In the case of hydrides, their nomenclature is made using the word “hydride” and then the name of the metal. The binary salts should also specify whether they have a positive or a negative charge.

How inorganic compounds are formed

Inorganic compounds are formed naturally and are produced by all living things, this includes animals and plants. They can also be formed inorganically, when this happens, it is given by a series of different chemical and physical forces such as electrolysis. Their bonds are generally ionic or covalent.

What are they for

Organic compounds are used in many areas. One of the most important is undoubtedly the industrial field since compounds are used to manufacture a series of products necessary for life. They are also very useful in the textile field, mainly to carry out the dyeing process.

They are also widely used in the area of medicine, many times in the form of pills, such as supplements to recover lost salts, saline solutions that treat dehydration, and diseases such as severe diarrhea. In the field of beauty, they work very well as some have a natural antioxidant role that helps restore the skin and even strengthen blood vessels. In cleaning products, fertilizers for soils and crops, and in foods, it is also common to use some types of organic compounds.


Inorganic compounds are very important because they are found in practically the entire planet and, in fact, constitute 70% of the human body, since water is one of the most important compounds of this type. Its uses are many today and are needed for a number of applications necessary for life. Even a large part of the food consumed daily has had contact with inorganic compounds.

Environmental impact

Some inorganic compounds can cause serious environmental pollution when not used properly. The bromine, for example, can have a poisonous effect; the sulfur produces, when mixed with water, rain acid pollutes the air and the cadmium causes water, soil, and air contamination. It is for this reason that the proper use of some of these compounds is of vital importance to maintain good health and an environment free of contaminants.

Examples of inorganic compounds

Inorganic compounds essential for life

  • H2O: one of the main inorganic compounds is water and it is classified as simple inorganic.
  • HCl – Hydrochloric acid has a high pH and is corrosive. Its importance lies in the fact that it can be found within the gastric juice of many animals helping them with the process of food decomposition.
  • CO2: carbon dioxide is classified within the group of inorganic compounds, although it has a carbon atom in its composition.
  • Glucose: glucose has a very important function within the body because, in addition to producing energy for cells, it acts as a reserve for all biological processes.

Used in agriculture

Among the most used organic compounds in the field of agriculture we have the following:

  • Urea: This inorganic compound is used mainly in the manufacture of fertilizers.
  • Zinc sulfate: it is used for the production of agricultural fungicides and to give protection to products such as wheat and cotton. It is an effective compound to prevent the appearance of fungi in some plants such as cabbage and broccoli.
  • Magnesium bromide: it is used effectively to make fertilizers.
  • Calcium phosphate: this inorganic compound also plays a fundamental role in the production of some fertilizers.

Other examples

Some other examples of inorganic compounds are as follows:

  • Hydrobromic acid
  • Boron oxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Barium carbonate
  • Phosphorus hydride
  • Potassium dichromate
  • Potassium iodide
  • Sulfuric acid

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