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Topic 1
Unit F334

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Carboxylic acids contain the carboxyl functional group.
Their systematic names all end with ­oic acid.

Naming Carboxylic Acids
When counting carbons in the longest chain to name a carboxylic acid, include the carbon
in the carboxylic acid as the first carbon.

One C atom methane methanoic acid
Two C atoms…

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Acid-base reactions
Being weak acids, carboxylic acids partially dissociate in aqueous solution to form oxonium ions H3O+
and carboxylate ions (RCOO - ) :
Carbonate + acid salt + water
HCOOH (aq) + H20 (l) H3O+ + HCOO ­ + carbon dioxide
Methanoic acid Oxonium ion methanoate ion

Carboxylic acids…

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Derivative Functional Group Name

Ester Methyl ethanoate

Acyl Chloride Ethanoyl chloride

Amide Ethanamide

Acid Anhydride Ethanoic anhydride

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The hydroxyl group can occur in three different environments :
· Attached to an alkane chain in alcohols
· Attached to a benzene ring in phenols
· As part of a carboxyl group in carboxylic acids

Test for phenols
When neutral Iron III chloride solution is added to phenol or…

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Esters are made by heating an alcohol and a carboxylic acid under reflux in the presence of
concentrated sulphuric acid or concentrated hydrochloric acid.

The reaction is also called a condensation reaction and is reversible; it will eventually reach equilibrium.

The reaction can be reversed and the ester can be…

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An alcohol is primary, secondary or tertiary.
This depends on which carbon atom the hydroxyl group is bonded to.

Type of Position of ­OH group Example

Primary At end of chain Ethanol
Attached to one alkyl group

Secondary In middle of chain Butan-2-ol
Attached to two alkyl groups


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Oxidation of Alcohols
The ­OH group can be oxidised by using acidified potassium dichromate. Acidified
This process is called oxidation. potassium
The ­OH group is oxidised to a carbonyl group. dichromate
The orange dichromate ion is reduced to green. Heat under reflux

During the oxidation reaction two hydrogen atoms…

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Aldehydes and ketones contain a carbonyl group.

Aldehydes end in ­al
Ketones end in ­one

Aldehydes and ketones are prepared by oxidation. Conditions:
· Excess acidified potassium
Reactant for aldehyde : primary alcohol dichromate
Reactant for ketone : secondary alcohol · Heat under reflux

Aldehydes can be further…


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