Take the 2-minute tour ×
Chemistry Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientists, academics, teachers and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

While going through my chemistry text book I came through the following reaction.

$\ce{RCH2OH + (O) -> RCHO + H2O}$

In the above reaction why oxygen atom is enclosed in parenthesis ?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It represents oxygen from an oxidising agent, as opposed to from diatomic oxygen. It's normally done in square brackets like this: $$\ce{CH3CH2OH + 2[O] → CH3COOH + H2O}$$ Is the reaction between ethanol and potassium manganate (VII) to form ethanoic acid. The oxygen in the reaction is from the permanganate, not from diatomic oxygen. It kind of simplifies the reaction, so you only see the reaction of what you want -the ethanol and oxygen - instead of the whole reaction with the manganate there. (Manganate is an oxidising agent).

In your reaction the alcohol: $\ce{RCH2OH}$ is reduced by the oxygen to form an aldehyde and water, using oxygen from an oxidising agent - the [O].

share|improve this answer
add comment

$\ce{(O)}$ means nascent oxygen. When you use an oxidising agent, fresh Oxygen is produced which is called nascent oxygen.

share|improve this answer
    
Hi, can you provide a reference? I can't find any...Thanks! –  G M May 14 at 17:27
    
Okay, that wasn't the right link but i find it... –  G M May 14 at 17:36
    
@GM What exactly did you want? –  shaurya gupta May 14 at 17:36
    
Try to click over the link you posted it is about a psychological process... Thanks! –  G M May 14 at 17:39
    
I'm sorry! Wikipedia –  shaurya gupta May 14 at 18:26
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.