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Some Organic thing

  1. Sep 2, 2006 #1
    This question came up on one of our worksheets:
    A fruity compount A (C2H4O2) is hydrolysed by distilled H2SO4 to give B and C (CH2O2). C reacts with Mg to yield H2 and compound D. B is oxidised to form methanoic acid. Give the structural formula and reaction. Name A, B, C and D.

    The solution ends up giving the reaction:
    2CH2O2 + Mg -> [HCO(O-)]2 Mg2+ (Drawn as an ester except the single bonded O is shown to be negatively charged) + H2

    I just thought I'd ask... can someone tell me why we're allowed to show the charge here?
    The reason I post this not in the homework section is because I want some pointers on where I can look to begin to understand this kind of stuff, rather than just getting help for answering the question.

    Thank you for any replies.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2006 #2


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    [HCO(O-)]2 Mg2+ is not an ester; it is a salt of a carboxylic acid (or a carboxylate). And the charges are specified to indicate that it is a fairly ionic salt.
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