Chemicals With Unusual Names (Mar. 29, 2015)

Today I learned about a bunch of chemical compounds with unusual or trivial names in addition to their formal technical names. I came across this jewel of a wikipedia list after finding the page for penguinone, a ketone molecule so named because its structure resembles a penguin:

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Chemistry people will enjoy this list, as will fans of wordplay and juvenile humor.

Good to be back!


So, what is Penguinone? (Or 3,4,4,5-tetramethylcyclohexa-2,5-dien-1-one, whatever you prefer.)

Penguinone has the molecular formula C10H14O. It’s systematic name is a bloody mouth-full 3,4,4,5-tetramethylcyclohexa-2,5-dien-1-one. For those of you who don’t quite understand the system for naming organic compounds this means it looks a teeny bit like a penguin -hence the name!

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Do you see the resemblance? Whilst it is easy to find a whole host of properties for this molecule, for example the polar surface area, elemental analysis and Liplinski-like filters I’m struggling to find any information on what this molecule is actually useful for. However, the Liplinski- like filters are used in drug discovery and drug development to narrow down the scope of molecules. They provide estimation on solubility and permeability of orally active compounds considering their physical and chemical properties. The filter is valid, when all of the examined properies of the molecule meet the criteria. This means we can assume that it has been investigated for use within medical compounds.

Whilst we haven’t yet been able to address the original question, we have learned that some molecules can be pretty damned cute.