Can ozonolysis be used to determine the structure of an unknown alkene?
Yes, ozonolysis is often used to determine the structure of an unknown alkene.
We can work backwards from the products and figure out what the alkene must have been.
Assume that an unknown alkene produced acetaldehyde and butanone on ozonolysis.
The original alkene must have contained the structures
CH₃CH= and =C(CH₃)CH₂CH₃
Put the pieces together, and you get
This may be easier to see with structural formulas.