Question
Thu November 01, 2012 By:
 

can tertiary alcohols be oxidised??if yes,please explain...

Expert Reply
Fri November 02, 2012

Tertiary alcohols aren't oxidised by acidified sodium or potassium dichromate(VI) solution. There is no reaction whatsoever.

If you look at what is happening with primary and secondary alcohols, you will see that the oxidising agent is removing the hydrogen from the -OH group, and a hydrogen from the carbon atom attached to the -OH. Tertiary alcohols don't have a hydrogen atom attached to that carbon.

You need to be able to remove those two particular hydrogen atoms in order to set up the carbon-oxygen double bond.

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