Oxidation of Alcohols

Alcohols can be oxidised by a variety of oxidising agents. Sodium or potassium dichromate acidified with dilute sulphuric acid can bring about oxidation in straight chained alcohols. Straight chained alcohols with one alkyl group or primary alcohols as they are referred to can be oxidised to form aldehydes. The resulting aldehyde can then undergo further oxidation to a carboxylic acid.

Remember, oxidation is a process involving the gain of oxygen, loss of hydrogen or loss of electrons. Oxidation of alcohols is oxidation in terms of hydrogen transfer. The alcohol is oxidised by loss of hydrogen. Oxidation and reduction in terms of hydrogen transfer is common in hydrocarbon chemistry.



Use the following links to read further about oxidation of alcohols: