Difference Between Aldehydes and Ketones (With Table)

Organic compounds such as ketone and aldehyde are two examples. However, there are various natural compounds that may be used to make these. It’s conceivable that the two got mixed up due to chemical similarities.

They’re both chemical molecules with a carbonyl group. A double hydroxyl bond exists between the carbon atoms of this group. In ketones and aldehydes, a trigonal planar structure surrounds the carbonyl carbon atom. However, there are significant differences between the two functional groups, and the goal of this article is to help you differentiate between them.

Aldehydes vs Ketones

The main difference between aldehydes and ketones is that aldehydes have carbonyl groups near the end of the carbon strand, whereas ketones have carbonyl groups in the centre of the chain strand. In aldehydes, the (C=O) is found at the carboxyl terminus. This implies that the (C) carbon atom will be connected to both a hydrogen and a second carbon atom. In ketones, the (C=O) group is commonly found near the helix’s core. As a result, the carbonyl group in C=O is connected to two separate carbon atoms on either side.

A molecular molecule with the functional group CHO, which consists of a carbonyl centre connected to a H as well as any basic alkyl or chain length R group, is known as an aldehyde. The functional group is an aldehyde or a formyl group.

A ketone (/kiton/) is a biochemical molecule with the formula R2C=O, where R can be any carbon-containing ligand. Ketone molecules include carbonyl groups. With the formula CH3C(O)CH3, acetone (R = R’ = dimethyl) is one among the most basic ketones. Ketones have a significant function in both biological and industrial chemistry. Examples include a variety of sugars (ketoses), a variety of hormones (e.g. testosterone), and the solvent acetone.

Comparison Table Between Aldehydes and Ketones

Parameters of ComparisonAldehydesKetones
StructureR-CHO is the generic aldehyde group’s form.The general ketone functional group takes the form R-CO-R’, with R and R’ being carbon chains.
DefinitionA molecular molecule with the functional group CHO is known as an aldehyde.In biochemistry, a ketone is a molecule with the formula R2C=O, where R can be any carbon-containing ligand.
Reactivity MagnitudeExtremely responsiveReactiveness is reduced.
OccurrenceA carbon chain’s endpoint.It happens in the centre of a carbon chain every time.
Fehling’s TestThe result is a pink-red precipitate.There was no response.
Tollen’s TestThe result is a black precipitate.None
Sodium Hydroxide TestPrecipitate with a brown gel-like consistency.None
Schiff’s Test ResultsThe color pink.There is no color.

What is Aldehyde?

The aldehyde (chemical formula O=CH-) is a biological and industrial functional group made up of a carbon atom linked to a hydrogen atom and then double-bonded to an oxygen atom. The name aldehyde is said to be derived from dehydrogenated alcohol.

Vinous aldehyde for acetaldehyde, for example, was originally the name for aldehydes that were connected to alcohols. (Vinous is originated in the Latin vinum, which means wine, and adds to the commencement of ethanol production.) Aldehydes belong to the polar family of chemicals. The electrons inside the carbon-oxygen link are drawn to oxygen because it is less electropositive than carbon.

On either end, it connects to an anion. The most fundamental sort of aldehyde is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde’s popularity stems from the fact that it deviates from the traditional equation by having a hydrogen atom instead of the R group.

In acetone, the most basic compound, the substituent is linked to two hydrogen atoms. Many additional aldehydes have the carbocation connected to one atom but a different carbon group. In the aspect of durability formulas, an aldehyde’s carbocation is commonly written as CHO. Formaldehyde has the formula HCHO, whereas acetaldehyde has the formula CH3CHO.

What is Ketone?

The word ketone is derived from the old German aketon, which meaning “acetone.” According to IUPAC nomenclature requirements, ketone designations are generated by changing the original alkane’s suffix -ane to -anyone. Traditional non-measurable names for the most prominent ketones, such as acetone and benzophenone, are still extensively used, despite the fact that the position of the nucleophile carbonyl functional group is normally specified by a number.

When compared to alkane C-H interactions, ketone C-H bonds near to the carbonyl are substantially more acidic (pKa 20). (pKa 50). The resonance stability of the electrophile ion after dissociation is the cause of this disparity. The relative ph of the -hydrogen is critical in the enolization processes of ketones and other oxidation products. Because of the acidity of -hydrogen, ketone and other oxidation products result.

Ketones are classified based on their substituents. According to one broad classification, the equivalence of the two organic methyl groups attached to the carbonyl core distinguishes ketones into symmetrical and asymmetric derivatives. Acetone (C6H5C(O)C6H5) and benzophenone (C6H5C(O)C6H5) are both symmetric ketones. Acetophenone is an asymmetrically structured ketone.

Main Differences Between Aldehydes and Ketone

  1. The functional group of aldehydes is more reactive than the ketone group.
  2. A ketone group is found in the centre of a carbon chain, whereas aldehydes are found at the end.
  3. Schiff’s test yields pink for aldehydes and no colour for ketones.
  4. Ketones produce no response while aldehydes produce a black-colored precipitate.
  5. Aldehyde has the R-CHO structure, whereas ketone has the R-CO-R’ structure.


Between these two chemical compounds, there are a number of distinctions. In terms of wide applicability in fields, they do differ. Ketones are a type of liquid that is commonly found in synthetic fibres and polymers. On the other hand, aldehydes are used in the dyeing, glue manufacture, and preservation of materials.

Both chemical compounds differ slightly in terms of their natural occurrence. Aldehydes may be found in a wide range of products, including perfumes and other volatile compounds. Ketones are found in sugars, though.


  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/7554586
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043276013001562