An organic compound contains only the elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Could this compound be a carbohydrate? Could it be a protein?

1 Answer


Yes, it could be a carbohydrate
No, it can not be a protein.


A carbohydrate has only Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen, with the hydrogen and oxygen in the ratio 2:1.
Examples are glucose #C_6H_12O_6# and table sugar #C_12H_22O_11#

A protein is made of amino acids. Amino acids have an amino group which is #-NH_2#.
So without nitrogen atoms the compound can not be a protein.