A ketyl group in organic chemistry
Organic chemistry
Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...

 is an anion radical
Radical (chemistry)
Radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons on an open shell configuration. Free radicals may have positive, negative, or zero charge...

 with the general structure C-O. in which an oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

Radical (chemistry)
Radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons on an open shell configuration. Free radicals may have positive, negative, or zero charge...

 is bonded directly to carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

. This radical is very unstable and appears in chemical reactions as a reactive intermediate
Reactive intermediate
In chemistry a reactive intermediate is a short-lived, high energy, highly reactive molecule. When generated in a chemical reaction it will quickly convert into a more stable molecule. Only in exceptional cases can these compounds be isolated and stored, e.g. low temperatures, matrix isolation...

. Another mesomeric structure has the radical position on carbon and the negative charge on oxygen .

Ketyls can be formed as radical anion
Radical ion
A radical ion is a free radical species that carries a charge. Radical ions are encountered in organic chemistry as reactive intermediates and in mass spectrometry as gas phase ions...

s by one-electron reduction
One-electron reduction
A one-electron reduction in organic chemistry involves the transfer of an electron from a metal to an organic substrate. It serves to differentiate between true organic reductions and other reductions such as hydride transfer reactions that actually involve two-electron species.The first...

 of carbonyl
In organic chemistry, a carbonyl group is a functional group composed of a carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom: C=O. It is common to several classes of organic compounds, as part of many larger functional groups....

s with alkali metal
Alkali metal
The alkali metals are a series of chemical elements in the periodic table. In the modern IUPAC nomenclature, the alkali metals comprise the group 1 elements, along with hydrogen. The alkali metals are lithium , sodium , potassium , rubidium , caesium , and francium...

s. Ketyls are also involved in the pinacol coupling reaction
Pinacol coupling reaction
A pinacol coupling reaction is an organic reaction in which a carbon–carbon covalent bond is formed between the carbonyl groups of an aldehyde or a ketone in presence of an electron donor in a free radical process . The reaction product is a vicinal diol...

 and the McMurry reaction
McMurry reaction
The McMurry reaction is an organic reaction in which two ketone or aldehyde groups are coupled to an alkene using titanium chloride compound such as titanium chloride and a reducing agent. The reaction is named after its co-discoverer, John E. McMurry. The McMurry reaction originally involved the...

. They can also be used as reagent for determining small amounts of water. The ketyl-molecule is intensely colored.

Ketyl radicals can be found in the use of sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

Benzophenone is the organic compound with the formula 2CO, generally abbreviated Ph2CO. Benzophenone is a widely used building block in organic chemistry, being the parent diarylketone.-Uses:...

 as a desiccant
A desiccant is a hygroscopic substance that induces or sustains a state of dryness in its local vicinity in a moderately well-sealed container....

in distilling solvents. Sodium reduces benzophenone to the soluble ketyl radical, which reacts quickly with the water and oxygen dissolved in the solvent. The deep blue coloration qualitatively indicates dry, oxygen-free conditions.
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