Functional group in chemistry - what does it mean?

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Functional group in chemistry - what does it mean?
Functional group in chemistry - what does it mean?

In order to correctly answer the question indicated in the title of the article, and to understand this chemical definition well, you need to be aware of the fact that the properties of substances directly depend not only on the list of their constituent elements, but also on their location. This will give a clearer idea of ​​what a group is in chemistry.

Classification of organic compounds

The fact is that the functional group in the chemistry of organic compounds has played a big role. It is known that any classification is based on specific features. Thus, the modern division of organic substances into classes is based on two important features:

  • structure of the carbon skeleton;
  • presence of a functional group in the molecule.

It turns out that the concept under consideration is a method of dividing compounds into classes and that such a group in chemistry is of great importance.

Organic chemistry, vessels with liquids

Why is it needed

It's time to give a clear and concise definition of what a group is in chemistry andwhat is the meaning of it. Let's take a closer look.

A functional group is an atom or a group of atoms that has a great influence on the properties of a substance. According to them, the belonging of the considered compound to any class of elements is determined. Here is an example.

The following is a classification of the most important organic substances based on the types of functional groups:

Functional group Name Class
OH hydroxo group (hydroxyl group)
  1. Alcohols if the hydroxyl group is bonded to a non-aromatic hydrocarbon.
  2. Phenols, if the hydroxyl group is bonded to the carbon of the benzene ring.
C=O oxo group (carbonyl group)
  1. Aldehydes, if the carbonyl group is at the primary carbon atom.
  2. Ketones, if the carbonyl group is at the secondary carbon atom.
COOH carboxyl group Carboxylic acid
NH2 amino group Amines

The name "primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary" is given to a carbon atom depending on how many similar particles it is associated with in a molecule.

Organic chemistry

Another role

In order to finally make sure that functional groups in chemistry, namely in organics, are of great importance, let's talk about the phenomenon of isomerism.It means that the substance has the same, both qualitative and quantitative composition, but can be built in different ways. Such elements are called isomers.

There are several types of isomerism, but we will talk about those that are associated with a change in the location of the functional group. In this process, the structure of the hydrocarbon is transformed due to its movement. For example, let's take butanol-1 (CH2(OH)-CH2-CH2-CH 3) and butanol-2 (CH3-CH(OH)-CH2-CH 3). The number after the name of the substance shows which carbon the functional group is associated with. The difference in structure is obvious.

In the article we looked at what a group is in chemistry.

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