How do aldehydes oxidize?

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anor277 Share
Mar 6, 2017

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Usually very easily..........

Explanation:

#RC(=O)H rarr RC(=O)OH#,

we can assign formal oxidation states to the ipso carbons:

#"Aldehyde,"# #"C(+I) " rarr " Carboxylic acid"# #"C(+III)"#

#RC(=O)H +H_2O rarr RCO_2H +2e^(-) +2H^+#

Of course, we need some form of oxidizing agent. And this could be some form of chromic oxide - in my hands these have never worked as advertized. Usually the difficulty is at stopping at the aldehyde; oxidation to the carboxylic acid is the thermodynamic outcome.

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