Question #fa782

1 Answer
May 11, 2014

The most important structural characteristic of aldehydes or ketones is the carbonyl group.

Aldehydes and ketones are carbonyl compounds.

Ketones have carbon atoms attached on either side of the carbonyl carbon.

Aldehydes have either two hydrogen atoms (H₂C=O) or one carbon and one hydrogen (RCH=O)directly attached to the carbonyl carbon.

Chemical structures of aldehydes and ketones from

Most reactions of aldehydes and ketones are the same, because they involve the carbonyl group. Some of these reactions are:

A. Hydration and Hemiacetal formation

R₂CO + R'OH ⇌ R₂C(OH)OR'

B. Acetal Formation

R₂C=O + 2R'OH ⇌ R₂C(OR')₂ + H₂O

C. Formation of Imines and Related Compounds

R₂C=O + H₂NR' ⇌ R₂C(OH)NHR' ⇌ R₂C=NR' + H₂O

D. Formation of Enamines

R₂CH(C=O)R + HNR'₂ ⇌ R₂C=CR-NR'₂ + H₂O

E. Cyanohydrin Formation


F. Metal Hydride Reduction

R₂C=O + LiAlH₄ or NaBH₄ → R₂CHOH

G. Addition of Organometallic Compounds

R₂C=O + R'MgBr → R₂R'COMgBr → R₂R'COH

H. Clemmensen Reduction

R₂CO + Zn(Hg) +HCl → RCH₂R

In all the above reactions, the carbonyl group is the site where the reaction takes place.