Aldehydes, a Cannon in A minor

By Ben Hamme
Basic Formula of an Aldehyde
Basic Formula of an Aldehyde

General Knowlege:

Aldehydes are organic compounds that have a central carbonyl group (the carbon double bonded to the oxygen). The aldehyde is actually the the whole structure showed above not including the R; the formula is O=CH-. Aldehydes are sometimes referred to as formyl or methanoyl groups. The word aldehyde is actually created from alcohol dehydrogenated. Sometimes aldehydes are named after the alcohols they correspond to.


There are a few ways the aldehydes are named.
  1. Carbon chains: The aldehyde is named based off the amount of carbon atoms in the compound. The length of the carbon chain will be related to a hydrocarbon and the name of the hydrocarbon will be used in the name of the aldehyde. Ex: CH3CH2CH2CHO has 4 carbons and butane has 4 carbons therefore the aldehyde is named butanal. The easy way: [Hydrocarbon name] - [the e at the end] + [al] = [name of the aldehyde]
  2. Rings: If the aldehyde is attached to a ring structure, it will be named using the suffix -carbaldehyde. So something like C6H11CHO would be known as cyclohexanecarbaldehyde. If there are other functional groups in the structure and a prefix is needed, the prefix formyl- is preferred over methanoyl-.
  3. Carboxylic acids: If there is a carboxylic acid attached to the aldehyde, they prefix oxo- is used before the name of the acid.
  4. Other case: If the aldehyde would make an awkwardly named acid if a carboxyl group were added in place of the aldehyde group, the aldehyde can be named by taking the -ic acid ending off the acid and replacing it with -aldehyde. Ex: HCHO would be Formaldehyde.

Examples of Aldehydes
Examples of Aldehydes