How do I tell the difference between a carbohydrate and a lipid if I am given a structural diagram or chemical formula?
A. This may not be the full answer…But I know two differences between carbohydrates and lipids that would help to tell the difference between them: 1. It is true that both organic molecules are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, but lipids have a much smaller proportion of oxygen compared to the amount of oxygen present in carbohydrates. Also, lipids often contain other elements such as phosphorus and nitrogen. This would help if you were given a chemical formula, or even a structural diagram if the elements were included on it. 2. Lipids are built up from only a very small number of molecules, and therefore aren’t classed as polymers, in comparison with some carbohydrates, such as cellulose, which is a polysaccharide polymer made up of a chain of monosaccharides. Therefore if you were given a structural diagram, you might be able to tell which organic molecule it is, depending on the examples shown. The above response includes some insightful points. I will wait for some more p