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Differences in Tartrate Enantiomers

Diethyl D-(-)-tartrate and Diethyl L-(+)-tartrate are enantiomers of each other. They have the same chemical formula, C10H16O6, but differ in their three-dimensional arrangement of atoms. The difference lies in their optical activity, as indicated by the D and L prefixes.

D-(-)-tartrate is the Dextrorotatory enantiomer, meaning it rotates the plane of polarized light to the right, while L-(+)-tartrate is the Levorotatory enantiomer, which rotates the plane of polarized light to the left.

The D and L designations are based on the orientation of the hydroxyl group on the chiral carbon atom in the tartrate molecule. In D-(-)-tartrate, the hydroxyl group is oriented to the right (dextrorotatory), and in L-(+)-tartrate, it is oriented to the left (levorotatory). These orientations result in the enantiomers having opposite effects on polarized light.

Chemically, the two enantiomers have similar properties and reactivity. They are commonly used in organic synthesis and chiral resolution processes. Their distinct optical activities make them useful in pharmaceutical and chemical industries where chiral compounds are required for specific applications.