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Advanced Organic Chemistry: Mass spectrum of propanone

The mass spectrum of propanone (acetone)

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 mass spectra of propanone

mass spectrum of propanone fragmentation pattern of m/z m/e ions for analysis and identification of acetone image diagram doc brown's advanced organic chemistry revision notes 

propanone (acetone, dimethyl ketone), C3H6O,  aldehydes and ketones nomenclature (c) doc b, aldehydes and ketones nomenclature (c) doc b, aldehydes and ketones nomenclature (c) doc b , aldehydes and ketones nomenclature (c) doc b

Interpreting the fragmentation pattern of the mass spectrum of propanone  (acetone)

[M]+ is the molecular ion peak (M) with an m/z of 58 corresponding to [C3H6O]+, the original propanone molecule minus an electron, [CH3COCH3]+.

The small M+1 peak at m/z 59, corresponds to an ionised propanone molecule with one 13C atom in it i.e. an ionised propanone molecule of formula 13C12C2H6O

Identifying the species giving the most prominent peaks (apart from M) in the fragmentation pattern of propanone.

m/z value of [fragment]+ 43 42 39 ? 27 15
[molecular fragment]+ [CH3CO]+ [CH2CO]+ [C3H3]+ [C2H3]+ [CH3]+

Analysing and explaining the principal ions in the fragmentation pattern of the mass spectrum of propanone

Equations to explain the most abundant ion peaks of propanone

Formation of m/z 43 ion: [CH3COCH3]+  ===>  [CH3CO]+  +  CH3

The m/z 43 ion is the base peak, the most abundant ion fragment.

This can lose a proton to give [CH2CO]+.

Formation of m/z 15 ion: [CH3COCH3]+  ===>  [CH3]+  +  CH3CO


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