Oxidation of Alcohols

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  • Created by: Molly
  • Created on: 03-06-13 20:53
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  • Oxidising an Alcohol.
    • Three Types of Alcohols. Primary, Secondary & Tertiary. Depends on how many other Carbon atoms the Carbon atom which contains the hydroxyl group is attached too.
    • Oxidation of a Primary Alcohol
      • Primary Alcohol is first oxidised to an ALDEHYDE by distillation where the products condense and are distilled out of the apparatus and collected. The suffix is 'al' for Aldehydes and they contain C=O bond on the end carbon atom of the carbon chain
        • An aldehyde can be further oxidised to a CARBOXYLIC ACID. This is because the alcohol is heated by REFLUX where the aldehyde that first forms condenses and then falls back in to the flask to be further oxidised to form carboxylic acids which contain a C=O bond and a C-OH bond aswell.
          • Carboxylic acids cannot be further oxidised even under reflux.
    • 2 methods. Distillation + Reflux.
    • Oxidation of a Secondary Alcohol
      • This is under reflux. The OH group in the middle of the carbon chain is replaced by a C=O bond. This is a ketone. The suffix is 'one'. Ketones can only form in the middle of the chain because they are made from secondary alcohols.
    • Tertiary alcohols are very difficult to oxidise.


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