I came across this reaction regarding formation of carboxylic acid by treating alkylbenzenes with KMnO4/KOH. I know that alpha-(C-H) bond in this compound is easily broken down into radicals. Then it reacts to form

1st step

After this step mysteriously manganese reactions to form phenylmethanoic acid and all remaining alkyl carbon are oxidized to CO2 I want your help to understand the mechanism of this reaction and how manganese reacts further down the reaction.

  • $\begingroup$ this answer at least partially answers your question chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/49542/… $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ i tried this exact mechanism but end product is alkylphenylketone but in above reaction which i mentioned end product is benzene carboxylic acid. I want a mechanism of this reaction to understand how reactions occurs and why certain product is favored over other. $\endgroup$
    – chemistree
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ Work through the mechanism with one of the R groups being H so that the aldehyde is formed. Remember that aldehydes readily form hydrates in aq environments. $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ i did the thing you are recommending and we do get a aldehyde but the original reaction has R group as alkyl so i can't just do that. But what i want is actual mechanism which explains why even the alkyl groups are converted to CO2 and how that occurs. $\endgroup$
    – chemistree
    Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 4:52


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