# Which group is more oxidized, #-CHO# or #-CH_2OH#, and why?

##### 1 Answer

The

#### Explanation:

There are three methods we could use to determine the relative levels of oxidation.

**1. By using the oxidation number of the carbon atom**

One definition of **oxidation** is: **an increase in the oxidation number**.

Let's calculate the oxidation number of

According to the rules for calculating oxidation numbers,

Since

Now, let's repeat the process for

Here,

Since

The aldehyde carbon has a higher oxidation number than the alcohol carbon, so a

**2. By counting the number of oxygen atoms**

A second definition of **oxidation** is: **an increase in the number of oxygen atoms**.

Both groups contain one O atom, but the O in the aldehyde is double-bonded, so we can count it twice (as we do when determining

Thus, the

**3. By counting the number of hydrogen atoms**

A third definition of **oxidation** is: **a decrease in the number of hydrogen atoms**.

Therefore, the