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An aldehyde is an organic compound containing a carbon to oxygen double bond (also known as the carbonyl group). The carbon atom must be attached to at least one hydrogen atom to be an aldehyde. A common aldehyde is formaldehyde (CH2O), which is a carbonyl group with a hydrogen atom on each side.

Aldehydes differ from ketones. While both are similar, ketones require the carbonyl carbon atom to be bonded to two other carbon atoms.[1]


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