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Uses of Aldehydes and Ketones:

Aldehydes and ketones are used in a wide variety of fields including industrial,
pharmaceutical and medical fields. Examples are given below:

Formaldehyde (made predominantly by the oxidation of methanol) is a
gas but is generally handled as a 37 percent solution in water,
called formalin. It is used in tanning, preserving, and embalming and as a
germicide, fungicide, and insecticide for plants and vegetables, but its
largest application is in the production of certain polymeric materials. The
plastic Bakelite is made by a reaction between formaldehyde and the
aromatic compound phenol.
Formaldehydes are also invloved in some recations that are used to form
strong adhesives like ones used in plywood.

Acetone is one of the few organic compounds that is infinitely soluble in
water (i.e., soluble in all proportions) and also dissolves many organic
compounds. For this reason and because of its low boiling point (56 C),
which makes it easy to remove by evaporation when no longer wanted it is
one of the most important industrial solvents, being used in such products
as paints, varnishes, resins, coatings, and nail-polish removers.

Other aldehydes and ketones of industrial significance are mainly used as

solvents, perfumes, and flavouring agents or as intermediates in the
manufactureof plastics, dyes, and pharmaceuticals.

Certain aldehydes occur naturally in flavouring agents. Among these are

benzaldehyde, which provides the odour and flavour of fresh almonds;
cinnamaldehyde, or oil of cinnamon; and vanillin, the main flavouring
agent of vanilla beans.

In addition, certain aldehydes and ketones perform essential functions in

humans and other living organisms. Some important examples are
the carbohydrates (including sugars, starch, and cellulose), which are
based on compounds that possess an aldehyde or ketone function along
with hydroxyl groups; the steroid hormones, many of which, including
progesterone, testosterone, cortisone, and aldosterone, are
ketones; and retinal, an aldehyde, which, upon combining with a protein
(opsin) in the retina of the eye to form rhodopsin, is the main compound
involved in the process of vision. Exposure of rhodopsin to light initiates
a cis-trans isomerization in the retinal portion. The change in molecular
geometry is responsible for generating a nerve impulse that is sent to the
brain and perceived as a visual signal.

The ketone methadone (C21H27NO) has been used to cure addiction to
opiates. Some common opiates are heroin, opium, and morphine. All of
Mahmoud Halawa

Chemistry Assignment
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these drugs work by causing the body to release excessive amounts of the
hormone dopamine. To help combat opiate addiction, the oral medication
methadone can be prescribed by a medical professional. Methadone works
by binding to the dopamine receptor in the brain. This eliminates the
users physical dependence on opiates because the user doesnt need
anything else to bind to the dopamine receptor.

Glutamaldehyde is a common cleaner. It kills bacteria, fungi, viruses,
and more. Glutamate is able to attack the cell membrane and cell walls in
bacteria and fungi, which prevents the cell from functioning. It also affects
amino acids and causes proteins to denature. As proteins are responsible
for many cell functions and make up cell DNA, this prevents the cell from

Uses of Buffers:
Pharmaceutical industries
Many different therapeutic drugs are synthesised under restrict pH conditions to
ensure the stability and clinical effectiveness of these treatments. This is usually
achieved with buffer solutions. In addition, buffers can be used to:
Increase the drugs shelf-life
Maintain the drug in a specific un-ionised or ionised form, depending on
the type of solution used. For example, ionised forms tend to be more
soluble in water, while un-ionised forms are more soluble in lipids
Maintain the drug in a near-neutral pH, this way avoiding any irritation
to the body tissues
Protect the drug against undesired hydrolysis in aqueous solutions


Fermentation reactions such as in beer or yogurt are highly affected by

varying pH. This means its essential to use buffer solutions to avoid harsh
changes and allow fermentation to progress to obtain maximum yield.

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Chemistry Assignment
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For example, in bread, the pH of the dough will naturally drop with the
production of CO2 and some other organic acids. In this case, both natural
buffers milk and flour, as well as chemical products such as calcium bicarbonate
(CaCO3) can be used to limited pH variations during fermentation.
Specialised buffers are also used extensively in the food industry as food
additives, in particular to ensure the appearance and flavour of certain food
items, as well as delaying any microbiological invasion. These additives are
usually weak acids or their respective salts already naturally present in some

Textile and leather industry

The textile and leather industry rely heavily on many different dyes to obtain
different colours and textures. The strength of some of these dyes is defined by
its pH and drastic changes will affect the colour and how the dye may react to a
certain fabric.
For example, monosodium phosphate is commonly used to maintain a low pH for
acidic dyeing of textile fibres, whereas disodium phosphate is more useful within
a mild alkali range to dye fabrics that are sensitive to extreme pH conditions.

Uses of esters:
Some of the most important uses of Esters are :1. Esters are used for making artificial flavours and essences. These are used in
cold drinks, ice-creams, sweets and perfumes.
2. Esters are used as solvents for oils, fats, gums, resins, cellulose, paints,
varnishes, etc.
3. Esters are used as plasticizers.

Mahmoud Halawa

Chemistry Assignment
12 G

Mahmoud Halawa

Chemistry Assignment
12 G