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I heard a friend say:

You have to watch out for coffee, the caffeine is an oxidation agent.

Now I remember carbon Chemistry from year 12.

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You can oxidise ethanol to ethanal, and then to ethanoic acid.

But I don't understand how this would apply to caffeine.

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My question is: Is the caffeine in coffee an oxidation agent?

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No, caffeine is not known as an oxidizing agent.

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  • $\begingroup$ Guess it could oxidize $\ce{LiAlH4}$ or something of the sort, but in any case this has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with the health hazard it presents. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Jan 12 '16 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah it could be made to lose its oxygen or electrons but couldn't any compound containing oxygen? I think because it doesn't do this readily in normal conditions like H2O2 or another common oxidizing agent it is not classed as an oxidizing agent. I was going to add that in the answer but thought it would go off topic. $\endgroup$ – Technetium Jan 12 '16 at 11:08

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