Hydroxyl (-OH)

Definition - What does Hydroxyl (-OH) mean?

A hydroxyl is a function group mainly found in organic compounds. It consists of a hydrogen atom covalently bonded to an oxygen atom. Therefore, a hydroxyl is represented by -OH. It may also refer to the ion or radical OH, which is either negatively charged with valency of -1 or is neutral.

Corrosionpedia explains Hydroxyl (-OH)

A hydroxyl group is often known as an alcohol functional group when it is bonded to a chain of hydrocarbon. It is also present in carboxylic acids. In organic chemistry, it participates in several important reactions, which include:

  • Dehydration of biological molecules
  • Formation of triacylglycerol
  • Bonding of amino acids

When hydroxyl acts as a radical, it undergoes some very strong reactions with proteins, DNA and lipids. Moreover, it also eliminates greenhouse gases and methane from the atmosphere. Thus, a hydroxyl radical is also called a detergent of the troposphere. The hydroxyl radical can be found in alkalis.

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