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I know that compounds like alcohols can be further oxidized to aldehydes (or ketones) and to carboxylic acids. But, is carboxylic acid the best oxidized form of a given compound? What happens when carboxylic acids further reacts with oxidizing agents like $\ce{KMnO4}$?

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    $\begingroup$ The maximum oxidation product would be $\ce{CO2}$. $\endgroup$ – Philipp Aug 24 '13 at 13:57
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In carboxylic acid, the carbon atom of the COOH group is already in high oxidation state, namely +3. In order to reach a higher oxidation state (+4), it requires breaking the C—C bond, typically to form molecular CO2. Thus, oxidation of carboxylic acid in strongly oxidizing conditions is known as a decarboxylation reaction.

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