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Homework Help: Oxidation of secondary alcohols

  1. Sep 23, 2007 #1
    [SOLVED] Oxidation of secondary alcohols

    I need help on the oxidation of alcohols.

    I want to know if butan-2-ol was partially oxidised would it result in butanone.

    Also what does the full oxidation of butan-2-ol result in? (I think it is butanoic acid but I am not sure. )
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2007 #2
    butan-2-ol is a secondary alcohol (middle of the chain) and can only oxidize to the ketone, butanone. A primary (end of the chain) can fully oxidize to the acid.
  4. Sep 24, 2007 #3
    primary alcohols are first oxidised to aldehydes, then further oxidised to carboxylic acids.
    secondary alcohols are oxidised only to ketones.

    As long as there are more than 1 hydrogen atom on the carbon atom containing the OH group, oxidation can occur. (hope i'm right for this one)
  5. Sep 24, 2007 #4


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    Sounds good. If you want to be pedantic about it, you could argue that the complete oxidation would yield 4CO2, however.
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