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Chemistry LibreTexts

18.1: Carbonyl Compound Structure and Properties

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  • The Carbonyls: the Aldehyes and Ketones

    While there are several functional groups that include a carbonyl structural feature, the term "carbonyls" is used to describe aldehydes and ketones.

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    Aldehydes and ketones share a great deal of chemical reactivity so it makes sense to talk about these two functional groups within the same chapter. Aldehydes and ketones are both polar molecules that are H-bond acceptors. Following the "4 to 6 Rule", aldehydes and ketones with short carbon chains are soluble in water. Aldehydes and ketones are typically liquids with densities of approximately 0.8 g/mL. Aldehydes and ketones are prevalent in common household substances as shown in the table below.

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    Aldehydes and Ketones are Electrophiles

    The carbon of the carbonyl group is electrophilic because of resonance as shown below.

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