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Oxidation of Alcohols

Oxidation of Alcohols to Aldehydes or Ketones: Applications

The color change from yellow-orange to green during the reduction of chromium(VI) to chromium(III) compounds is being used for measurements of blood-alcohol levels. In this test, dichromate in a test tube is reduced to a green chromium(III) salt by breathing alcohol containing air through the solution.

Chromium(VI) compounds, popular in the laboratory, cannot be used in industrial-scale applications because of their toxicity and environmentally harmful effects when used on a large scale. Therefore, the industrial synthesis of aldehydes is most often achieved either by hydroformylation of alkenes or by catalytical dehydrogenation of alcohols, for example:

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