Methyl Group Definition

A small molecule is created from one carbon and three hydrogen atoms. The methyl group is combined or extracted from proteins or nucleic acids and may transform the way these molecules act in the body. Methyl groups, which comprise a central carbon atom bound to three hydrogen atoms, are extremely stable. Except in the presence of very strong acids or bases, the functional group is usually unreactive. Despite this stable structure, methyl groups may be included in reactions in which the entire functional group is transferred to another molecule, a process known as "methylation." Epigenetics, gene expression, liver detoxification, and neurotransmitter synthesis all depend on this enzyme-mediated reaction.


What is an Active Methylene Group?

The active methylene group is the one group that has two -I or -R groups on both sides. Therefore the hydrogens of this -CH2 group are extremely acidic.

For example, recognizing acetylacetone.

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Structure of Acetylacetone

The -CH2 group in the centre is active as it is bonded to two carbonyl groups on both sides, therefore it will include tautomerism and form a cyclic 6 membered ring. In this compound, the ring is extremely stable due to intramolecular hydrogen bonding and therefore enolization is quite high (the percentage of enol isomer).


Behaviour and Properties Methyl Group

The methyl group can be present on a variety of organic compounds. For example, a methyl group can be found in two separate organic structures in the diagram below, which we'll call diagram two. 

The existence of a methyl group can affect how an organic compound behaves in a solution or even in our bodies due to this attachment. 

It is classified as a non-polar covalent bond and the ability to make organic compounds hydrophobic.

  • A non-polar bond is a kind of covalent bond that defines the way two or more atoms share electrons. Covalent bonds include atoms that are active to share electrons to stay bonded. A non-polar covalent bond introduces to those atoms that share an equivalent number of electrons with each other. When atoms have non-polar covalent bonds, there is no hogging of electrons.

  • The extreme dislike of water by an atom or a molecule is known as hydrophobicity. Can see from the nomenclature, or name, of this term that the prefix, hydro-, means 'water,' and the suffix, phobic-, means 'fear.' A hydrophobic molecule is classified as non-polar when it comes to non-polar bonding. Although these molecules enjoy exchanging electrons, the process stops when they are put in a solution containing water.

Methyl Group Function 

There is various methyl group function that is as follows:

  • At the DNA I stage, methyl groups are VITAL for normal cell replication. They literally “turn on” or “turn off” genes.

  • Stage II liver detoxification, protein methylation, homocysteine metabolism (increasing methyl groups reduces inflammation), neurotransmitter synthesis, and nucleic acid synthesis all need methyl groups.

3 Forms of a Methyl Group 

While the methyl group is normally a component of a larger molecule, it can be observed on its own in any of three forms are methyl radical, methyl cation, and methyl anion.


1. Methyl Radical 

As a consequence of homolytic cleavage of the methane molecule, the shared electron pair is equally distributed among the carbon and hydrogen of methane results in the structure of methyl radical and hydrogen-free radical.


2. Methyl Cation 

When the methyl group is attached to a more electronegative element, the more electronegative element pulls the electron pair away from the methyl group, resulting in the creation of a methyl cation.

Since it is an electron-deficient and electron acceptor species, the methyl cation is a carbocation that acts as a Lewis acid.


3. Methyl Anion 

When a methyl group is bound to a less electronegative element, the carbon in methyl pulls the electron pair from the less electronegative element, forming a methyl anion.

Since it is an electron-rich and electron-pair donor species, methyl anion acts as a Lewis base.


Structure and Formula :

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A methyl group's molecular formula is easy to remember: R-CH3. It's even possible to write it as Me. The composition of a methyl group, which contains both carbon and hydrogen atoms, is also simple to note.

CH3 is often referred to as a methyl, regardless of whether it is part of a broader organic structure or exists on its own. Know that a methyl group would still have three hydrogen atoms bound to one carbon atom when looking at chemical compound diagrams.


Difference Between Ethyl and Methyl Group 

  • Meaning: Ethyl group is an alkyl substituent made of two carbon atoms and five hydrogen atoms. A Methyl group is a combination of atoms including one carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms.

  • Chemical Formula: The formula of the ethyl group is –C2H5.The formula of the methyl group is –CH3.

  • Molar Mass: The ethyl group has a molar mass of 29 g/mol. The methyl group has a molar mass of 15 g/mol.

  • Formation: The ethyl group is formed by removing one hydrogen atom from ethane. By extracting one hydrogen atom from methane, the methyl group is formed.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is Hydroxymethyl?

Ans. The hydroxymethyl group is the title for a substituent with the fundamental formula −CH2−OH. It consists of a methylene bridge bonded to a hydroxyl group. It has the same chemical formula with the methoxy group (−O−CH3) that changes only in the attachment site and orientation to the rest of the molecule. But, their chemical properties are varied. Hydroxymethyl is the side series of encoded amino acid serine. The hydroxymethyl syntheses of urea can experience intermolecular condensation to produce oligomers. There are 2 types of linkages: (a) methylene and (b) dimethylene ether bridges. 

Q2. Explain Methyl Benzyl Ether.

Ans. Benzyl methyl ether can be made by the reaction of benzaldehyde dimethyl acetal and trimethyl silane in the appearance of trimethylsilyl triflate. It reacts with N-bromosuccinimide to form α-bromobenzyl methyl ether, which supports degradation to form benzaldehyde. In a batch reactor, the synthesis of benzyl methyl ether from benzyl alcohol and methanol in high-temperature carbonic water was investigated. When benzyl alcohol was combined with methanol under supercritical conditions at 573 K, no benzyl methyl ether was produced. The treatment of benzyl alcohol in an aqueous methanol solution at 573 K, on the other hand, yielded benzyl methyl ether. In an aqueous methanol solution (methanol to water molar ratio of 0.025 mol/0.11 mol) at 573 K for 60 minutes, 12 percent benzyl methyl ether yield was obtained, and the yield was increased to 33 percent by adding 18 MPa of carbon dioxide to the aqueous solution.