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This page states that sodium permanganate can be formed by the reaction of manganese dioxide with sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide:

$$\ce{2 MnO2 + 3 NaClO + 2 NaOH -> 2 NaMnO4 + 3 NaCl + H2O}$$

I assume sodium carbonate ($\ce{Na2CO3}$) will also function in this reaction as a substitute for $\ce{NaOH}$.

Does this reaction take place at standard conditions, or are increases in temperature/pressure etc. required? Approximately how long will it take (at STP)? Also, will sodium carbonate be sufficient, or is sodium hydroxide required?

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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn’t be too sure about the carbonate working. It may well be too weak a base … $\endgroup$ – Jan Jun 20 '16 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ Different question: I am slightly confused about the home-experiment tag. Are you planning to do this at home? If so, adding a note to the question would be great. $\endgroup$ – Jan Jun 20 '16 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan I added the home-experiment tag because this is a small experiment which can easily happen at home (bleach, batteries, baking soda). $\endgroup$ – sadljkfhalskdjfh Jun 21 '16 at 0:01
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I performed this reaction, and the answer is yes, concentrated sodium carbonate can be used in place of sodium hydroxide, though the latter works better. The reaction goes under normal pressure, but it requires heating. The rate of the reaction also depends on the quality of manganese dioxide - freshly prepared works best. You will notice the formation of permanganate as soon as you boil the reaction mixture, but complete conversion of dioxide may take several minutes to hours. If you want a complete conversion, better use the sodium hydroxide.

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