Hi. Okay, first of all, can an alcohol be oxidized by permanganate?...of course it can... In the case of an alkene the permanganate forms a cyclic intermediate where the double bond once was. The oxygens break off (from the permanganate) and are protonated by an acid or H2O if no acid was added. This forms a diol and MnO2. MnO2, how I loathe you. It also appears in the oxidation of alcohols. But there is no cyclic intermediate formed because there is no diol produced. So I read that the O in the alcohol attacks the Mn in MnO4-, one of the O's in MnO4 is protonated by the H in the OH group (proton transfer)...anyway, look here for a better understanding: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chem52/handouts/OxidHand.htm Everything is nice and dandy until we get to the bottom of that page where it's mentioned how manganate reacts with water to form MnO2, MnO4-, and OH. My question is HOW DOES THIS OCCUR? It was simple with the alkene because the O's just broke off and MnO2 was formed. But I don't see how all of this happens with just water. Help. Thanks.