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Oxidation of Aldehydes to Carboxylic Acids

Oxidation of Aldehydes to Carboxylic Acids: Autoxidation

Aldehydes have the tendency to react with atmospheric oxygen to form carboxylic acids. This reaction is called autoxidation described by the following mechanism.

First, a radical chain reaction takes place in which the aldehyde is transformed into the corresponding peracid.

Fig.1
Autoxidation

The peracid subsequently reacts with the aldehyde in a Baeyer-Villiger oxidation to yield two carboxylic acids.

Fig.2
Baeyer-Villiger oxidation
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