1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Determining Functional groups - carboxylic acid, ester etc

  1. Dec 9, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    What functional groups are present based on the compound's names?
    A. Methyl Hydroxybenzoate
    B. 2-Hydroxypropanoic acid

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    We've learned about the basic Hydrocarbon derivatives in class, but only dealing with problems
    like propanoic acid or methanoic acid, methyl propanoate or ethyl methanoate. These I fully understand them, but I can't quite understand how to disassemble this problem and find it's functional groups.
    Any help with be appreciated.

    - David
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I reckon the best way would be to have a look a table of prefixes/suffixes for different functional groups and see if you can match them to the names above. Do you have an organic chemistry textbook? Most textbooks seem to have a table of the common functional groups. If not, then you could use this (though this table is probably more extensive than what you need):

  4. Dec 9, 2009 #3
    Hmm, I'll take a look at the list. Is there any other other way of breaking down the compound names? I know hydroxy is referring to -OH and I know the formula for propanoic acid is:

    edit: can't post this thing right.. the the carbonyl is between CH2 and OH
  5. Dec 10, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Your structure is wrong. You have butanoic acid there. Propionic acid has only 3 carbons. You also dropped the 2-hydroxy group.
  6. Dec 10, 2009 #5
    I didn't clarify which one I was talking about oops. I was referring to 2-Hydroxypropanoic acid
    Said that the -OH (Hydroxy) combined with propanoic acid to form the above acid.
  7. Dec 11, 2009 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It doesn't help, as chemisttree wrote your structure is that of butanoic acid and has nothing to do with 2-hydroxypropanoic acid.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook