[Answer] What is a carbonyl group?

Answer: A carbon atom linked by a double bond to an oxygen atom.
What is a carbonyl group?

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In organic chemistry a carbonyl group is a functional group composed of a carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom: C=O. It is common to several classes of organic compounds as part of many larger functional groups. A compound containing a carbonyl group is often referred to as a carbonyl compound.

The term carbonyl can also refer to carbon monoxide as a ligand in an inorganic or organometallic complex (a metal carbonyl e.g. nickel carbonyl ). The remainder of this article concerns itself with the organic chemistry definition of carbonyl where carbon and oxygen share a double bond.

Initial experiments on the reaction of carbon monoxide with metals were carried out by Justus von Liebig in 1834. By passing carbon monoxide over molten potassium he prepared a substance having the empirical formula KCO which he called Kohlenoxidkalium. As demonstrated later the compound was not a carbonyl but the potassium salt of benzenehexol (K6C6O6) and the potassium salt of acetylenediol (K2C2O2).

The carbonyl group is polar because the electronegativity of the oxygen is greater than that for carbon. Thus ketones are nucleophilic at oxygen and electrophilic at carbon. Because the carbonyl group interacts with water by hydrogen bonding ketones are typically more soluble in water than the related methylene compounds….

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