Definition of Aldehydes.

Aldehydes, organic acids and esters




Aldehydes, organic acids and esters


Definition of Aldehydes: These are highly reactive chemical compounds that are organic obtained through the process primary alcohols undergoing oxidation. They have a (-CHO) as the last part of a hydrocarbon chain. They also have diverse properties that are dependent on their molecule remainder.

Chemical family: Aldehydes

General Formula: R-CHO

Classical Naming Consideration: They are named after the regular name of the carboxylic acid that is corresponding. Aldehydes therefore have the name of the suffix –ic that is replaced by –aldehyde.

IUPAC Naming: Considers the greatest chain of carbon atoms, which have the parent alkane as the carboxyl group. The suffix is changed from –e to –al to show the aldehyde. Carboxyl groups of   aldehydes are always at the end of the main chain, therefore carbon 1 must be there, and it is not necessary to use a number to find it.

General Hazards: They are highly flammable and can burn both property and people. The fire produces gases that are toxic and corrosive. In addition, they are health hazards when absorbed, ingested or inhaled. Materials with aldehydes can burn or irritate the eyes and skin. Runoff from components and chemicals containing aldehydes can also lead to pollution

Application: Used to make organic acids, dyes, resins and organic acids. Some of the main aldehydes such as butyraldehyde undergo a variety of processes to manufacture plasticizers. Formaldehyde is used in cabinet making and woodworking industries.

Common Examples: Methanol (CH2 O), Ethanol (CH3CHO) and Propanal (CH3 CH2CHO)

Organic acids

Definition of organic acids: These organic compounds have acidic properties. They are weak acids, which do not completely dissociate in water. However, majority of the organic acids are highly soluble in organic solvents.

Chemical Family: Acids

General Formula: R-COOH

Classical Naming Consideration: The first part is named after the carbon group and the second hydroxyl group.

IUPAC Naming: The names are derived from alkanes. The alkane from which the alcohol is made is identified and given a similar name to that of straight chain hydrocarbons. The suffix –oic or –ic is given to the carboxylic group.

General Hazards: Acids used in the laboratory can cause fire and explosions. In case of accidental ingestion or absorption, acids like fluoridic acid can damage or injure the skin. Prolonged exposure to some acids might lead to intoxication.

Applications: Oxalic acid and citric acid are used in the process of rust removal. Gas and oil well stimulation are done by acids such as acetic acid. Some organic acids are also used to preserve food. Organic acids are used in pig production for animal feeds.

Common Examples: Lactic acid (C3H6O3), acetic acid (CH3CO2H) and formic acid (HCO2H).


Definition of esters: These organic compounds are formed from an acid and alcohol through removal of water.

Chemical Family: Ester

General Formula: RCO2R

Classical Naming Consideration: The carboxylic acid is first identified followed by the alcohol from which they are prepared.

IUPAC Naming: They are named by the alkyl in the first part and the suffix –oate. The complete name of the ester will be alkyl alkanoate.

General Hazards: Methylparaben a methyl ester of para-hydroxy benzoic acid is used as a preservative in cosmetics and foods is claimed to have some negative health effects such as allergies.

Applications: They are extensively used in industry. They function as flavoring agents adding scents to a variety of foods, for example, octyl ethanoate. Some are also used as plasticizers.

Common Examples: Ethyl methanoate (HCOOC2H5), methyl methanoate (HCOOCH3) and ethyl ethanoate (CH3COOC2H5

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