Can IR spectroscopy distinguish between 2-pentanone and 2-hexanone?

That is the question that many chemists ask themselves when they are deciding what to do with their samples.

If the answer is “yes,” then you should be focusing on infrared spectroscopy strategies.

Many chemists spend time trying to identify compounds by other methods, and fail to improve their identification rates once they get there.

In this blog post, we will discuss how IR spectroscopies can help your identification process!

For example, if you are looking at two different liquids with similar boiling points and one has a very strong absorption in the infrared region.

Whereas the other does not have any significant peaks then the second liquid would most likely be an alcohol while the first could either be an ether or another type of ketone (or ester).

This strategy is also useful when examining pairs of crystals where only one crystal displays spectral bands characteristic for functional groups found in organic substances.

A perfect scenario in which this would work is phenyl ethanoate vs benzophenone – both show no symmetrical peak splitting but because there’s only one band on each side of zero.


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