Test learners knowledge of carbonyl chemistry

The topics covered by this Starter for ten activity are: oxidation of alcohols, tests for aldehydes and ketones, carbonyl functional groups, reactions of carboxylic acids, reductions of carbonyl groups, esters, preparing esters, saponification, acids, acid chlorides and acid anhydrides, and synthesis from carbonyls. 

Example questions

Adam set up the following apparatus in order to prepare some ethanoic acid.

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  1. What reagent(s) will Adam need to put in the round bottomed flask?
  2. What colour change will Adam observe?
  3. How does the experimental set up shown ensure a high yield of ethanoic acid?
  4. Name the piece of apparatus labelled A
  5. Draw a sketch of how the apparatus can be adapted to be used to produce and collect ethanal. Label any new pieces of apparatus you may need.
  6. Bottles A, B and C contain pure samples of either ethanol, ethanal or ethanoic acid but the chemical labels have been lost. Suggest 2 reagents that can be used to determine which is which.

Aldehydes and ketones can be distinguished using a variety of oxidising agents.

Complete the table of observations for each test

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Write an equation using [O] for the oxidant to show the oxidation of propanal.

Tollen’s reagent works by the reduction of Ag+ ions. Write an equation for this reaction.

The diagrams below show a range of functional groups containing a carbonyl group. For each one give the general name for the functional group (1 mark each). The last diagram shows a functional group which is beyond most A-level specifications. Indicate which two functional groups are present (half a mark each) and try and deduce its name 

Carbonyl image 3


This question and answer sheet are available from the ‘Download’ section below. An editable version is also available.