Difference Between Aromatic Compounds vs. Aliphatic Compounds

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Main Difference

Organic molecules or compounds exist in much abundance on the planet Earth as they are one of the vital molecules as around all living organisms are composed of carbon atoms. It should be kept mentioned that carbon possessing molecules are known as organic molecules, and with seeing their importance, the whole new branch of organic chemistry is being laid to thoroughly study these compounds and molecules. Furthermore the organic compounds solely consisting up of carbon and Hydrogen atoms are known as hydrocarbons. They are further classified into groups like linear, cyclic, saturated and unsaturated. Based on their arrangement and nature of the bond between carbon atoms, hydrocarbons can be mainly divided into two types of compounds, Aromatic compounds and Aliphatic compounds. Aromatic compounds are the hydrocarbons containing a specific aromatic ring, which is also known as the Benzene ring, on the other hand, aliphatic compounds are the hydrocarbons that can be said non-aromatic compounds as they lack Benzene ring in their structure.

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Comparison Chart

Aromatic CompoundsAliphatic Compounds
Benzene RingYesNo
ExampleBenzene, toluene, naphthalene xylene, aniline.alkanes, alkenes, alkynes and their derivatives.
Saturated or UnsaturatedAlways unsaturatedAliphatic compounds can either be saturated or unsaturated.

What is Aromatic Compounds?

Aromatic compounds are the hydrocarbons having specific aromatic ring, which makes it different from the other compounds. The Benzene ring is made up of three double bonds between the hydrocarbons. The molecular formula of benzene is C6H6, and the aromatic or benzene ring formed contains six Carbon atoms that are cyclically bonded with alternating double bonds. The process of alternating double bonds is known as ‘conjugation’ and it gives the aromatic compound a total different chemical behavior than the other chemical compounds. The studies into this class of organic compounds begin with Michael Farady’s discovery of new hydrocarbon back in 1825. The German chemist August Kekule was the first one to recognize these aromatic compounds. Initially aromatic compounds were resins and essential oils, which had fragrance or a specific scent and they were used in perfumes. With their this distinct feature, these type of hydrocarbons were named aromatic compounds as the root word in this name ‘aroma’ means perfume. Benzene, toluene, naphthalene xylene, aniline are some of the common examples of aromatic compounds.

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What is Aliphatic Compounds?

Aliphatic compounds are the hydrocarbons that lack benzene ring. For a simpler understanding, this type of hydrocarbon compounds can be known as the non-aromatic compounds. On the basis of their structure and formation, these aliphatic compounds can further be categorized into cyclic hydrocarbon, linear, branched, saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. These aliphatic compounds can either be linear or cyclic. The carbon atoms that form the aliphatic compounds can be attached with hydrogen atoms single, double or triple bondedly. In aliphatic compounds the bond can be mix of single, double or triple bonds that mean they can either be saturated or unsaturated. When the carbon atoms are bonded through singe bind with the hydrogen atoms, they form the saturated hydrocarbons. On the other hand, when Carbon atoms are held through double or triple bonds, they cannot fulfill their bonding with the hydrogen atoms, therefore they are called the unsaturated hydrocarbons. Alkanes, alkenes, alkynes and their derivatives are some of the most prominent examples of aliphatic compounds.

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Aromatic Compounds vs. Aliphatic Compounds

  • Aromatic compounds are the hydrocarbons containing a specific aromatic ring, which is also known as the Benzene ring, on the other hand, aliphatic compounds are the hydrocarbons that can be said non-aromatic compounds as they lack Benzene ring in their structure.
  • Initially aromatic compounds were resins and essential oils, which had fragrance or a specific scent and they were used in perfumes.
  • Benzene, toluene, naphthalene xylene, aniline are some of the common examples of aromatic compounds, whereas alkanes, alkenes, alkynes and their derivatives are some of the most common examples of aliphatic compounds.
  • Aromatic compounds are always unsaturated, while aliphatic compounds an either be saturated or unsaturated.

Comparison Video