Ethyl group

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For other uses of "ethyl", see Ethyl (disambiguation).
File:Ethyl group V.1.png
Ethyl group (highlighted blue) as part of a molecule, as the ethyl radical, and in the compounds ethanol, bromoethane, ethyl acetate, and ethyl methyl ether.

In chemistry, an ethyl group is an alkyl substituent derived from ethane (C2H6). It has the formulaC2H5 and is very often abbreviated Et. Ethyl is used in the IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry for a saturated two-carbon moiety in a molecule, whilst the prefix "eth-" is used to indicate the presence of two carbon atoms in the molecule.


Ethylation is the formation of a compound by introduction of the ethyl group. The most widely practiced example of this reaction is the ethylation of benzene. The ethylating agent is ethylene.

320 px

Approximately 24.7 million tons were produced in 1999.[1] Ethylbenzene is the precursor to styrene, the precursor to polystyrene.


The name of the group is derived from the Aether, the first-born Greek elemental god of air, and "hyle", referring to "stuff".

See also


  1. Vincent A. Welch, Kevin J. Fallon, Heinz-Peter Gelbke “Ethylbenzene” Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2005. doi:10.1002/14356007.a10_035.pub2
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