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Page 1

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Compounds containing
the Carbonyl Group
AQA Chemistry Unit 4
Frihah Parvaiz

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Aldehydes and ketones
know that aldehydes are readily oxidised to carboxylic acids and that this forms the basis of a simple
chemical test to distinguish between aldehydes and ketones (e.g. Fehling's solution and Tollens' reagent)


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appreciate the hazards of synthesis using HCN/KCN

know that aldehydes can be reduced to primary alcohols and ketones to secondary alcohols using reducing agents
such as NaBH4. Mechanisms showing H­ are required (equations showing [H] as reductant are acceptable)


Reagent sodium tetrahydridoborate(III) (sodium…

Page 4

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understand the mechanism of the reaction of carbonyl compounds with HCN
as a further example of nucleophilic addition producing hydroxynitriles


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Carboxylic acids and esters
Know that carboxylic acids are weak acids but will liberate CO2 from carbonates

They have the functional groups of the carbonyl
compounds and of alcohols. Having two groups on
the same carbon atom changes its properties; the OH
group in carboxylic acids is much more acidic…

Page 6

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know that esters can have pleasant smells

know the common uses of esters (e.g. in solvents, plasticizers, perfumes and food flavourings)

i) acid hydrolysis

Since the esterification reaction is
reversible, it follows that if an ester is
heated under reflux with
concentrated H2SO4, a carboxylic
acid and an alcohol will…

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Page 8

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know that vegetable oils and animal fats are esters of propane-1,2,3-triol (glycerol)

understand that vegetable oils and animal fats can be hydrolysed
to give soap, glycerol and long chain carboxylic (fatty) acids
Naturally occuring fats
and oils are in fact esters
with three ester groups.

Acid hydrolysis of fats and…

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know that vegetable oils can be converted into biodiesel by reaction with methanol in the presence of a catalyst

know that biodiesel is a mixture of methyl esters of long chain carboxylic acids

Biodiesel is a mixture of methyl esters of long chain fatty acids.

It is made by hydrolysing…

Page 10

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know the reaction with ammonia and primary amines with acyl chlorides and acid anhydrides

Acyl chlorides Acid anhydrides

Ethanoyl chloride

know the reactions of water, alcohols, ammonia and primary amines with acyl chlorides and acid anhydrides

The carbon atom is attached
to two electronegative atoms
and so is very +ve.…


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