The word or root amyl has two meanings, in
organic chemistryand biochemistry.
In biochemistry, "amyl" means "pertaining to starch". Many moderately complex biological chemicals related to starch contain it, for example:-
Note that in this usage, it is a part of the word, and becomes "amylo" when preceding a
In organic chemistry, amyl is the old
trivial namefor the alkyl functional groupand radical called pentylunder the IUPAC nomenclature: that is, -C5H11. This usage may derive from the presence of amyl alcohol in fusel oil, which is often fermented from starches. In this usage, amyl (normally) remains a separate word and it does not become "amylo-" before a consonant.
Several important amyl/pentyl compounds are still widely known by their older, amyl names, including:
There are eight possible
isomers of amyl; see under pentylfor more information. Frequently chemicals sold commercially as amyl compounds will be a mixture of several isomers.
"Amyl" is also a
slangterm for amyl nitritewhen used as a recreational drug.
"E-Amyl" is the name of the equivalent drug often sniffed by players of the game
"Amyl", used to mean "starch", was taken from Greek αμυλος = "cake made from fine
flour", from α + μυλη = "not mill" because the flour used to make an αμυλος was not ground on the same grindstones as ordinary bread flour.
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