Simple Alkyl Chains

Nomenclature of Simple Alkane Chain Molecules

Methyl aminolevulinate drug molecule
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A simple alkyl group is a functional group made up entirely of carbon and hydrogen where the carbon atoms are chained together by single bonds. The general molecular formula for simple alkyl groups is -CnH2n+1 where n is the number of carbon atoms in the group.

Simple alkyl groups are named by adding the the -yl suffix to the prefix associated with the number of carbon atoms present in the molecule.

Click image to enlarge the molecule.

Methyl Group

This is the chemical structure of the methyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of the methyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 1
Number of Hydrogens: 2(1)+1 = 2+1 = 3
Molecular Formula: -CH3
Structural Formula: -CH3

Ethyl Group

This is the chemical structure of the ethyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of the ethyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 2
Number of Hydrogens: 2(2)+1 = 4+1 = 5
Molecular Formula: -C2H5
Structural Formula: -CH2CH3

Propyl Group

This is the chemical structure of the propyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of the propyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 3
Number of Hydrogens: 2(3)+1 = 6+1 = 7
Molecular Formula: -C3H7
Structural Formula: -CH2CH2CH3

Butyl Group

This is the chemical structure of the butyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of the butyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 4
Number of Hydrogens: 2(4)+1 = 8+1 = 9
Molecular Formula: C4H9
Structural Formula: -CH2CH2CH2CH3
or: -(CH2)3CH3

Pentyl Group

This is the chemical structure of the pentyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of the pentyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 5
Number of Hydrogens: 2(5)+1 = 10+1 = 11
Molecular Formula: -C5H11
Structural Formula: -CH2CH2CH2CH2CH3
or: -(CH2)4CH3

Hexyl Group

This is the chemical structure of the hexyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of the hexyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 6
Number of Hydrogens: 2(6)+1 = 12+1 = 13
Molecular Formula: -C6H13
Structural Formula: -CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH3
or: -(CH2)5CH3

Heptyl Group

This is the chemical structure of heptyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of heptyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 7
Number of Hydrogens: 2(7)+1 = 14+1 = 15
Molecular Formula: -C7H15
Structural Formula: -CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH3
or: -(CH2)6CH3

Octyl Group

This is the chemical structure of the octyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of the octyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 8
Number of Hydrogens: 2(8)+1 = 16+1 = 17
Molecular Formula: -C8H17
Structural Formula: -CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH3
or: -(CH2)7CH3

Nonyl Group

This is the chemical structure of the nonyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of the nonyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 9
Number of Hydrogens: 2(9)+1 = 18+1 = 19
Molecular Formula: -C9H19
Structural Formula: -CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH3
or: -(CH2)8CH3

Decyl Group

This is the chemical structure of the decyl functional group.
This is the chemical structure of the decyl functional group. Todd Helmenstine

Number of Carbons: 10
Number of Hydrogens: 2(10)+1 = 20+1 = 21
Molecular Formula: -C10H21
Structural Formula: -CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH3
or: -(CH2)9CH3

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Todd. "Simple Alkyl Chains." ThoughtCo, Feb. 28, 2017, thoughtco.com/simple-alkyl-chains-608216. Helmenstine, Todd. (2017, February 28). Simple Alkyl Chains. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/simple-alkyl-chains-608216 Helmenstine, Todd. "Simple Alkyl Chains." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/simple-alkyl-chains-608216 (accessed November 19, 2017).