Assessment Task: Carbon Chemistry and Functional Groups

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Assessment Task: Carbon Chemistry & Functional Groups
1. Why does the carbon atom make so many covalent compounds? Carbon atoms have 4 single valence electrons, which mean they can bond to 4 other atoms. It bonds in a tetrahedral shape, or make straight, bent or ring shaped molecules when many are bonded together. The complexity allows it to bond to many other atoms. (1)

2. How is the structure of ethanol (key ingredient in vodka) different than the structure of acetic acid (vinegar) in terms of functional groups? Firstly, the structure of ethanol contains 6 hydrogen atoms, 2 carbon atoms and an oxygen atom. What is different from ethanol is that acetic acid has 2 oxygen atoms bonded to it rather than one and there are 5 hydrogen atoms on acetic acid while there are 6 hydrogen atoms on the ethanol. On the ethanol, the oxygen and a hydrogen atom bond together to form a hydroxyl group at the end of the chain while there is a carboxyl group attatched to the main chain of the acetic acid. The aldahyde functional group contains a double bond oxygen atom and a hydroxy group bonded to the end carbon. (1)

3. Draw diagrams of ethanol and acetic acid - clearly showing the shared pairs of electrons (covalent bonds).
4. Draw a structural diagram of glycine.

5. Name the class of compounds that glycine belongs to and what do all of the compounds in this class have in common? Glycine is in the class of macromolecules. Ths class includes many repeated functional groups. (1)

6. Draw an organic compound that has two different functional groups. Lable these groups. Hydroxyl group on one end carboxyl group on the other.


1. Allinotte, T. (2008). Chemical Basis of Life. Retrieved from <> on December 28, 2011. 2. Wales, J. (2011). Glycine. Retrieved from <> on December 28, 2011.
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