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Oxidation of Aromatic Side Chains

Oxidation of Aromatic Side Chains: Mechanism

Depending on reaction conditions, the mechanism varies and not many details are known. Presumably, oxidations under protic conditions (e.g. with Na2Cr2O7/H2SO4 ) involve benzyl cations. Catalytic reactions using atmospheric oxygen and Co2+ as catalyst probably involve radical intermediates.

Example:

Fig.1
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