Difference Between Ethyl and Methyl

Main Difference

The main difference between ethyl and methyl is that Ethyl is a group with two carbon atoms, whereas Methyl is a group with one carbon atom.

Ethyl vs. Methyl

The methyl and ethyl are the terms that are used to give the name to the group of the atoms that are attached to the principal carbon chain. They are called alkyl substituents. Ethyl is the group that is made up of five hydrogen atoms and two carbon atoms. Methyl, on the other hand, is the group that is made up of three hydrogen atoms and one carbon atoms. –C2H5 is referred to as the chemical formula for the ethyl group. The methyl group, on the flip side, has the chemical formula –CH3.

The ethyl group is derived by removing one hydrogen atom from the ethane (C2H6). The methyl group, on the other side, is formed when one hydrogen atom is removed from the methane. The prefix –ethyl is used to give a name to the compounds which contain the ethyl groups. For instance, the compound is known as ethyl alcohol when the –OH group is attached to an ethyl group, and it is known as an ethyl halide when the ethyl group gets attached to a halide group, e.g., ethyl chloride. The name of the compounds that have methyl groups is given by using the prefix –methyl. For instance, when the methyl group gets attached to an acetate group it is named methyl acetate.

Comparison Chart

EthylMethyl
The group which is made up of two carbon atoms is called the ethyl group.The group which is made up of one carbon atom is called the Methyl group.
Derivation
This group is derived from the alkane ethane.It is the derivative of alkane methane.
Saturation
An ethyl group is a saturated group of atoms.A methyl group is also a saturated group of atoms.
Composition
An ethyl group is composed of only carbon and hydrogen atoms.It is also made up of only carbon and hydrogen atoms.
Chemical Formula
–C2H5 is the chemical formula for the ethyl group.–CH3 is referred to as the chemical formula for the methyl group.
Molar Mass
The molar mass comprised of the ethyl group is 29 g/mol.The molar mass for this one is 15 g/mol.
Formation
An ethyl group is formed when one hydrogen atom is removed from ethane.Methyl group is formed after the removal of one hydrogen atom from methane.
Alkylation
Ethyl groups may participate in the ethylation reactions.Methyl groups may participate in methylation reactions.
1 H NMR spectroscopy
In 1H NMR spectroscopy, the coupling due to an ethyl group gives us a triplet and a quartet.In 1H NMR spectroscopy, the coupling due to a methyl group gives us a quartet.

What is Ethyl?

An ethyl group is that kind of group which is an alkyl substituent and is made up of five hydrogen atoms and two carbon atoms. Its chemical formula is given as –C2H5. There is an empty space in the ethyl group where an atom or a group of atoms may attach. Ethylation is the process in which an ethyl group is introduced to a different molecule. That ethyl group gets attached to the empty space on that molecule. For instance, when benzene reacts with ethyl chloride in the presence of HCl and FeCl3, ethyl substituted benzene is formed because of the occurrence of electrophilic substitution reaction.

The carbon of the ethyl group has a tetrahedral geometry because it has bound with one carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms. The bond angle of H-C-H is 109o. The carbon atoms of the ethyl group are sp3 hybridized. An sp3 hybridized orbital of each carbon atom overlaps to form the carbon-carbon sigma bond. The bond present between the hydrogen and carbon is also a sigma bond. The bond rotation is feasible because of the single sigma bond, which is present between carbon atoms, and it does not require a great amount of energy. The other binding group will also make a sigma bond with an ethyl group.

What is Methyl?

Methyl is the group with one carbon atom and is the simplest alkyl substituent. It shows tetrahedral geometry and sp3 form of hybridization. It has an empty space where an atom or group of atoms may attach. The process in which the methyl group is introduced with a different molecule is known as methylation. E.g., when benzene reacts with the methyl chloride in the presence of HCl and FeCl3, then toluene is formed, which is methyl-substituted benzene.

It is an extremely reactive form and may be present in the anion (CH3), cation (CH3+), or radical form (CH3.). But its reactivity highly depends on the neighboring substituents. By using a strong oxidizing agent like potassium permanganate, it can be oxidized to the carboxylic groups.

Key Differences

  1. The group which is made up of two carbon atoms is called the ethyl group, whereas, the group which is made up of one carbon atom is called the Methyl group.
  2. An ethyl group is that kind of group which is derived from the alkane ethane. Conversely, a methyl group is that kind of group which is derived from the alkane methane.
  3. The chemical formula for the ethyl group is –C2H5, on the flip side, –CH3 is the chemical formula for the methyl group.
  4. The molar mass comprised of the ethyl group is 29 g/mol, on the other side, the molar mass comprised by the methyl group is 15 g/mol.
  5. An ethyl group is formed when one hydrogen atom is removed from ethane; on the other hand, the methyl group is formed when one hydrogen atom is removed from methane.
  6. Ethyl groups are the groups that can take part in the ethylation reactions, whereas, methyl groups are the groups that can take part in the methylation reactions.
  7. In 1H NMR spectroscopy, the coupling due to an ethyl group gives us a triplet and a quartet, on the flip side, in 1H NMR spectroscopy, the coupling due to a methyl group gives us a quartet.

Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that the ethyl group is made up of two carbon atoms and five hydrogen atoms, while, the methyl group is made up of one carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms. The chemical formula of the former is –C2H5, and it has a molar mass of 29 g/mol, whereas, the chemical formula of the latter is –CH3 and it has a molar mass of 15 g/mol.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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