Homework Help

What does "controlled oxidation" of alcohols (to produce aldehydes/ketones) really...

lollypops's profile pic

Posted via web

dislike 1 like

What does "controlled oxidation" of alcohols (to produce aldehydes/ketones) really mean? Can you explain the process? Can you also explain what further controlled oxidation of aldehydes to form carboxylic acids is? Thank you so much! :) 


1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

llltkl's profile pic

Posted (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Primary alcohols upon mild oxidation produce carbonyl compounds. Alcohols upon strong oxidation, proceed one step further to produce carboxylic acids. Milder oxidizing agents include Ag/O2, Pyridinium chlorochromate (PCC), or MnO2. Stronger oxidizing agents are KMnO4, H2CrO4, Jones’ reagent (CrO3 in H2SO4) or PCC + H5IO6. Such controlled oxidation is, however, a relative concept. Thus Jones’ reagent converts primary alcohols to carboxylic acids, while secondary alcohols end up in the ketone (carbonyl) stage.  For similar type of alcohols, such distinction is obvious. Thus PCC converts a primary alcohol into an aldehyde, but when coupled with a strong oxidising agent like H5IO6, produces the corresponding carboxylic acid. Stronger oxidizing agents like H2CrO4 or K2Cr2O7 can not be 'controlled' and almost always end up with the carboxylic acid as the final product.


1 Reply | Hide Replies

lollypops's profile pic

Posted (Reply #1)

dislike 0 like

But what is the actual definition of "controlled oxidation"? 

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes