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Branches of Chemistry


Chemistry can be broadly divided into Pure Chemistry and Applied Chemistry.



Pure chemistry deals with the attempt to get better  understanding of nature.

Pure chemistry is further divided into three main branches. Organic chemistry, Inorganic  Chemistry and Physical chemistry. These main branches have been further divided into large number of sub-sections. The main branches meaning divided into large number of sub-sections. The main branches are described briefly as follows:

  1. Organic Chemistry. This branch of chemistry deals with the study of structure, chemical composition and characteristics of compounds of carbon and hydrogen elements (Hydrocarbons) and their derivatives.
  2. Inorganic Chemistry. This branch concerns itself to the study of structure, composition and behaviour of the inorganic compounds, i.e., the compounds other than hydrocarbons or their derivatives. Such compounds are found in the crust of the earth and constitute non-living matter.
  3. Physical Chemistry. This branch deals with the study of fundamental principles governing various chemical transformations and chemical systems. It is primarily concerned with laws and theories of different branches of chemistry.



Applied chemistry deals with the application of the knowledge of chemistry for the benefit of mankind. The different branches of applied chemistry are as under:

1.     Analytical Chemistry. This branch involves collection of techniques which allows exact determination of the composition of the given sample of material. It has been further divided into two categories:

(a) Qualitative analysis. It deals with the identification of various constituent particles (atoms, ions, molecules) present in the material.

(b) Quantitative analysis. It deals with the estimation of various constituents in the material.

2.     Industrial Chemistry. This branch deals with the chemistry involved in different industrial processes such as manufacture of various chemical substances.

 3.     Biochemistry. This branch concerns itself to the study of metabolic pathways and enzymology pertaining to living organism. It deals with molecular, cellular and chemical activities of living organisms.

4.     Geochemistry. This branch deals with the chemical processes occurring on earth such as metamorphism of rocks, formation of petroleum, etc. It also deals with the composition of soils and rocks.

5.     Petrochemistry. It is the branch of chemistry which deals with the transformation of crude oil (petroleum) and natural gas into useful products and raw materials.

6.     Radiochemistry. It is a branch of chemistry which deals with the study of radioactive materials, both natural as well as man-made. It also involves the use of radioactive materials to study the pathways/mechanism of ordinary chemical reactions.

7.     Biotechnology. It refers to the technological applications which uses biological systems, living organisms or their cterivatives to make or modify products or process for specific use. Biotechnology, infact, combines various disciplines like genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, embryology and cell biology for developing techniques for beneficial effects.

8.     Medicinal or Pharmaceutical Chemistry. It is scientific discipline at the intersection of chemistry and pharmacology, which is involved with designing  synthesizing and developing pharmaceutical drugs. Medicinal chemistry involves the identification, synthesis and development of new chemical entities suitable for therapeutic use. Medicinal chemistry is highly interdisciplinary science that combines organic chemistry with biochemistry, pharmacology, *pharmacognosy; molecular biology, statistics and physical chemistry.

Environmental Chemistry. It is a branch of chemistry which deals with scientific study of chemical and biochemical phenomena that occur in natural places. Environmental chemistry is also an interdisciplinary science that includes atmospheric, aquatic, and soil chemistry along with analytical chemistry, environmental studies and other areas of science.