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Here, both alkyl groups attatched to oxygen atom have ketone functional group attatched to oxygen. Then, how will I write the IUPAC name?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Note, the structure is not well described as an ether. It is the (mixed) anhydride of acetic acid (left hand side of the formula), and propionic acid (right hand side). The resources page includes a section about chemical nomenclature. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Feb 2, 2023 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ See: chemistry.stackexchange.com/q/59536/17368 $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2023 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


Compounds consisting of two acyl groups bonded to the same oxygen atom are anhydrides. Symmetric anhydrides have identical acyl groups; mixed anhydrides have different acyl groups.

The corresponding subsections in the current version of Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry – IUPAC Recommendations and Preferred Names 2013 (Blue Book) read as follows:

P-65.7.1 Symmetric anhydrides
Symmetric anhydrides of monobasic acids, substituted or unsubstituted, are named by replacing the term ‘acid’ of an acid name by the class name ‘anhydride’.

P-65.7.2 Mixed anhydrides
Anhydrides derived from different monobasic acids are named by citing in alphabetical order the names of the two acids, substituted or unsubstituted, without the class name ‘acid’ followed by the class name ‘anhydride’ as a separate word.

Therefore, the name for the compound that is given in the question is acetic propanoic anhydride.

acetic propanoic anhydride

Nevertheless, your idea of “ketone groups attached to an ether oxygen” is not completely wrong. However, it is only used for cyclic anhydrides formed from two acid groups attached to the same parent hydride structure. Such names are called heterocyclic pseudoketones, for example

  • oxolane-2,5-dione (succinic anhydride)
  • furan-2,5-dione (maleic anhydride)
  • 2-benzofuran-1,3-dione (phthalic anhydride)

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