Oxidation of Methylidene Groups to Carbonyl Groups
Oxidation of Methylidene Groups to Carbonyl Groups: Proof of Mechanism
Proof for the mechanism of this oxidation mechanism was carried out by Baeckvall in 1979.
Using deuterium labeling, it was shown that the carbonyl compound was generated from the α-hydroxyethyl-σ-complex and not from the enol π-complex. No deuterium was found in the product.
The individual steps are shown below for the oxidation of ethylene.