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A ketone is an organic molecule, that has a carbonyl functional group (as do aldehydes) which consists of a carbon atom double bonded to an oxygen atom. For the molecule to be a ketone there must be two carbon atoms bonded to the carbon that is part of the carbonyl group. It has the structure of R1C=OR2.


Naming Ketones

When naming ketones, take the parental alkane prefix (based on the number of carbons in the carbon chain) and add the suffix '-one' to the end.

Physical Properties

Ketones are polar molecules, and there are two lone pairs on the oxygen atom of the carbonyl group. This allows ketones to take part in hydrogen bonding with water molecules[1].

Reactions of Ketones

It is often made by Oxidation reaction of Secondary alcohol, whereas aldehyde is made by Oxidation reaction of Primary alcohol. A ketone can also be reduced back into the Secondary alcohol. In a ketone the Carbonyl group, which is usually a functional group, is between two of the same or different R groups.

It is used in urine test to determine the level of Fatty acid in the body. If the level of fatty acid is too high, it will break down into ketone and present in the Urine.


  1. R Lewis W Evans, Chemistry, 3rd edition, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2006
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