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Advanced Organic Chemistry: Infrared spectrum of butanal

Interpreting the infrared spectrum of butanal (butyraldehyde)

Doc Brown's Chemistry Advanced Level Pre-University Chemistry Revision Study Notes for UK IB KS5 A/AS GCE advanced A level organic chemistry students US K12 grade 11 grade 12 organic chemistry courses involving molecular spectroscopy analysing infrared spectra of butanal

infrared spectrum of butanal wavenumbers cm-1 functional group detection fingerprint pattern identification of butyraldehyde doc brown's advanced organic chemistry revision notes 

Spectra obtained from a liquid film of butanal. The right-hand part of the of the infrared spectrum of butanal, wavenumbers ~1500 to 400 cm-1 is considered the fingerprint region for the identification of butanal and most organic compounds. It is due to a unique set of complex overlapping vibrations of the atoms of the molecule of butanal.

butanal (butyraldehyde), C4H8O,  aldehydes and ketones nomenclature (c) doc b, aldehydes and ketones nomenclature (c) doc b, aldehydes and ketones nomenclature (c) doc b

Interpretation of the infrared spectrum of butanal

The most prominent infrared absorption lines of butanal

The stretching vibrations of the C-H bond of the alkyl grouping occur at wavenumbers 2975 to 2845 cm-1.

Overlapping are the stretching vibrations of the C-H bond of the aldehyde group (CHO) occur at wavenumbers 2880 to 2650 cm-1.

The strongest and most characteristic absorption band of butanal is at wavenumbers ~1740 to 1720 cm-1 for the stretching vibrations of the carbonyl group bond C=O.

There are other multiple aliphatic aldehyde absorptions at wavenumbers ~1215 to 1435 cm-1 but not particularly characteristic.

The absence of other specific functional group bands will show that particular functional group is absent from the butanal molecular structure.


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Diagram of absorption of wavenumber peaks in the infrared spectrum of butanal. Characteristic peak wavenumbers in the infrared spectrum of butanal. Finger print identification pattern using the infrared spectrum of butanal. Revision notes on the infrared spectrum of butanal. Matching and deducing the structure of the butanal molecule from  its infrared spectrum.


Links associated with butanal

The chemistry of ALDEHYDES and KETONES revision notes INDEX

The mass spectrum of Butanal

The H-1 NMR spectrum of Butanal

The C-13 NMR spectrum of Butanal

Infrared spectroscopy index

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