Badges: 14
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
Can something be part of lots of functional groups at the same time?

For example, an acyl group is RCOZ and a carbonyl group is C=O and a carboxyl group is RCOOH. So would a carbon in a carboxylic acid be part of an acyl, carboxyl and carbonyl group at the same time?

I'm really confused about this.

Does the R in a functional group only represent a continuation of the carbon chain, or can it represent any atom? What about the Z in acyl?
Badges: 13
Report 4 years ago
The R usually represents a carbon chain. The Z in acyl groups represents a halogen, oxygen atom or nitrogen atom.

An acyl compound contains an acyl group whose carbonyl carbon atom is directly bonded to a nitrogen, oxygen or halogen atom.

A carbonyl compound contains an acyl group whose carbonyl carbon atom is directly bonded to either hydrogen or carbon.

So for a carboxylic acid: R-C(-OH)=O

The carbonyl group is the C=O part
The acyl group is the R-C=O part
The carboxyl group is the C(-OH)=O part
The hydroxyl group is the O-H part
The ester group is the R-C(=O)-O-R part

With the overall functional group being R-C(-OH)=O

Please note that the diagrams I've typed in aren't how you'd actually write them on paper, I've had to use brackets like (-OH) to show that a hydroxyl group is on that carbon atom as well as another group.

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
new posts
to top
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.


University open days

  • Sheffield Hallam University
    Get into Teaching in South Yorkshire Undergraduate
    Wed, 26 Feb '20
  • The University of Law
    Solicitor Series: Assessing Trainee Skills – LPC, GDL and MA Law - London Moorgate campus Postgraduate
    Wed, 26 Feb '20
  • University of East Anglia
    PGCE Open day Postgraduate
    Sat, 29 Feb '20

People at uni: do initiations (like heavy drinking) put you off joining sports societies?

Yes (534)
No (270)

Watched Threads

View All