Special Sub-Topic: Common Names of Organic Molecules
|Which of the following is a common name for ethyne (HCCH)?|
acetylene. The prefix "acet-" often refers to a molecule or a fragment of a molecule with 2 carbons in it.
Acetylene (ethyne) belongs to the chemical family of alkynes. This class of compounds contains a carbon-carbon triple bond. Acetylene used as a fuel (e.g., in oxy-acetylene torches).
|What is a common name for methoxybenzene?|
anisole. Most singly-substituted aromatic compounds have trivial (common) names such as this. Anisole may also be named as an ether - methylphenylether - but the name anisole is most commonly used.
The structural fragment of anisole is present in eugenol (a component of clove oil) and the commercial flavouring vanillin, although neither compound is derived directly from anisole itself.
|What is a common name for methanoic acid?|
formic acid. Formic acid is named for the Latin word "formica", meaning "ant", and so called because it's the substance that gives you that nasty little sting when you get an ant bite.
|What is a common name for hydroxybenzene?|
phenol. Another example of a monosubstituted aromatic compound having both a formal and a common name. Common names are so entrenched in the language of chemistry that chemists usually use them in preference to the formal names.
Phenol belongs to a special class of alcohols wherein the alcohol hydroxyl group is attached directly to a benzene ring. This feature makes phenols much more acidic than "regular" alcohols because the resulting phenolate anion is stabilised due to resonance.
|What is ethanoic acid commonly known as?|
acetic acid. Another "acet-" word - 2 carbons! :) Acetic acid is the major component of vinegar, which is very good to eat with chips. :)
|What is aminobenzene most commonly known as?|
aniline. Yep, another one of those monosubstituted aromatic compounds having a common as well as a formal name!
Aniline and its derivatives are starting materials in the synthesis of many dyes. Dyes made from anilines are called "azo dyes" and feature one or more nitrogen-nitrogen double bonds. Examples of azo dyes include congo red and methyl orange.
|Here's a mouthful: what is 3,7-dimethyl-9-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-2,4,6,8-nonatetraen-1-ol more commonly known as?|
Vitamin A. "Vitamin A" is a lot easier (and less time consuming!) to say, isn't it? ;) Vitamin A is essential for our eyes to keep them working as they should. Symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency include night blindness and dry skin.
|What is ascorbic acid (itself a common name) better known as?|
vitamin C. Another example of common names being better known than the formal name. Vitamin C actually doesn't have a carboxylic acid group present in its structure - the "acid" in "ascorbic acid" comes from the fact that it behaves as an acid (i.e., is a proton donor) when dissolved in water. It is a popular dietary supplement for those who don't eat enough fresh fruit.
|What is the common name for 1,4-epoxy-1,3-butadiene?|
furan. Furan is an example of a heterocyclic compound. Heterocyclic compounds are cyclic molecules containing (most commonly) carbon atoms in combination with oxygen, nitrogen and/or sulfur atoms.
Just about all heterocyclic compounds are referred to by their common names. Furan is an example of an oxygen-containing heterocycle.
|The compound 2-methyl-1,3-butadiene has a common name. What is it?|
isoprene. The essential oils of plants are made up of molecules called terpenes, which are thought to arise from the joining of various numbers of isoprene units (or the equivalent). Limonene is a terpene found in many citrus fruits and smells pleasantly lemon-y.
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