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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 a hydrogen atom and another carbon atom as opposed to two carbon atoms.[1]


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