Meaning of the Term Aromatic

Meaning of the Term Aromatic


1 Answers

Sachin Tyagi
31 Points
13 years ago

Meaning of the Term Aromatic The term aromatic has been derived from the Greek word aroma meaning pleasant odour. Earlier chemists applied this term to those organic compounds which differed from aliphatic and alicyclic compounds and possessed pleasant odour or derived from odourous compounds. The compounds such as balsams, resins, essential oils, etc., were called aromatic compounds. The term aromatic is, however, a misnomer, as now it is known tht all aromatic compounds do not necessarily possess pleasant smell. Not only that, many of the aliphatic compounds also possess fine fragrance.

On close examination, it was found that aromatic compounds have a higher percentage of carbon in comparison to apiphatic compounds and were associated with chemical stability. With the development of structural theory, the stable character of aromatic compounds was attributed to  the presence of hexagonal ring structure specific of benzene, i.e., they contained at least six carbon atoms connected by a conjugate system of three double bonds, forming a hexagonal ring known as benzene nucleus.

The term aromatic is now reserved for benzene and for all carbocyclic derivatives which resemble with benzene in chemical behavior. These are also called benzenoid compounds. However, there are some compounds which resemble benzene in their chemical behavior but do not contain benzene ring. Such compounds are termed as non benzenoid compounds. Examples are furan, thiophene, pyrrole and pyridine, etc.

All aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, naphthalene, anthracene, etc.) have been given a new name “Arenes”. Thus the term aromatic compound stands for arenes and their derivatives.

Benzene is the simplest aromatic hydrocarbon. It is represented in one of the following manners. The common names and structures of some of the aromatic hydrocarbons are given below along with classification.

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