What does alkyl mean?

1 Answer
Jan 5, 2016

An alkyl group is simply a #C_nH_(2n+1)# residue.


What's a residue? It's a fancy way of describing a bit of stuff tacked on to the end of the molecule. Organic chemistry may be described the chemistry of functional groups, so we can generically describe saturated alcohols (for instance), or alkyl halides (for instance), as #C_nH_(2n+1)OH#, or #C_nH_(2n+1)X#. The part where the chemistry occurs is carbon bound to the heteroatom.