Oxidation of Aldehydes to Carboxylic Acids
Oxidation of Aldehydes to Carboxylic Acids: Introduction
- Oxidizing agent in aqueous acidic solution
The red numbers in the equation represent oxidation numbers which clearly show that carbon is oxidized from +I to +III and chromium is reduced from +VI to +IV. However, the chromium(IV) compound is very unstable and reacts immediately with the solvent.
This is a very common method to prepare aromatic carboxylic acids. In most cases, the oxidation of aldehydes is the second step in the preparation of carboxylic acids from primary alcohols:
In the human body, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) metabolizes primary alcohols to aldehydes. This is followed by a consecutive oxidation to acetate. Aldehyde poisoning takes place in some people if the corresponding enzymes required for the oxidation to acetates are missing.