What are hemiacetals?

What are hemiacetals?


1 Answers

Ramesh V
70 Points
12 years ago

Alcohols react with the carbonyl groups of aldehydes and ketones to produce compounds called hemiacetals. These react further with another molecule of the alcohol to make a new compound called an acetal. Water is produced in the latter reaction. Here's the reaction.

Hemi-acetals are compounds in which a sp3 hybridized carbon is connected to a hydroxy group (OH), an alkoxy group (OR), and:

- one alkyl group and one hydrogen. This is a hemi-acetal of an aldehyde.
- two alkyl groups. This is a hemi-acetal of a ketone (also called a hemi-ketal).

General Equation for Hemiacetal Formation:

Aldehyde + Alcohol <===> Hemiacetal

The hemiacetal group can be recognized by finding a carbon with BOTH an alcohol AND an ether functional group attached to it.




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