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 Form 4 Chemistry: Organic Chemistry II Online Lessons

Meaning and nomenclature of alkanoic acids with examples

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- Also called organic acids and form a homologous series with a general formula of #CnH_(2n + 1)COOH#; in which case n = (no. of carbon atoms - 1)
- Members differ from each other by an additional #CH_2# group.
- Their functional group is the carboxylic group (-COOH) which is attached to the alkyl group.
- Graphical representation of carboxyl group i.e O-C-OH;
Note: All carboxylic acids have the – COOH as the functional group but alkanoic acids are strictly alkanoic acids derived from alkanes Nomenclature of alkanoic acids
- The ending of the corresponding alkane is replaced by 'oic acid’ . Examples;
- Methane to methanoic acid.
- Ethane to ethanoic acid.
- They are named as if they are derived from alkanes through replacement of one of the hydrogen atoms by the -COOH group.
Note: -Unlike alkanols the functional group (COOH) in alkanoic acids can only be at the end of the carbon chain.
- The C in the COOH is always given the first position, while the substituents are given locants (numbers in reference to the first position).