An oxidation experiment for a first-year organic chemistry class is presented. This oxidation utilizes a solid mixture of CuSO4•5H2O and KMnO4 prepared by mortar and pestle. The oxidations take place under solvent-free conditions and near quantitative yields are obtained for the reactions. Thin-layer chromatography is used to monitor the progress of the reaction. This experiment provides for the simple oxidation of a secondary alcohol to a ketone using a relatively nontoxic oxidizing agent under solvent-free conditions.
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