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A ketone is an organic compound containing a carbon to oxygen double bond (also known as the carbonyl group). The carbon atom must be attached to two other carbon atoms to be a ketone. A common ketone is acetone (CH3COCH3), which is a carbonyl group with a methyl group on each side.

Ketones differ from aldehydes. While both are similar, aldehydes require the carbonyl carbon atom to be bonded to at least one hydrogen atom as opposed to two carbon atoms.[1]


  1. Solomon's Organic Chemistry, Fifth Edition, 1992