From the Russian State Chemistry Test:

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It's easy to see $X$ is $\ce{H2O}$: water turns acetylene into acetaldehyde.

But what can turn acetaldehyde into acetic acid?

I checked: $\ce{NaOH}$ would turn it into sodium acetate, $\ce{CuO}$ would not react (you'd need $\ce{Cu(OH)2}$), ethanol would turn it into either an acetal or hemiacetal.

Would acetaldehyde react with formic acid to produce acetic acid? I tried to google for it, and found no mention.

Would water in the presence of a heat source somehow react with acetaldehyde? I googled and discovered that it might form hydrates, not acetic acid.

So I'm at a loss. If you consider the question too easy, you could give just a hint.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you Google CuO oxidation of aldehydes you do get hits $\endgroup$ – Waylander Apr 24 '17 at 13:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't think it's a stretch to think that two copper(II) reagents would both do the trick, considering one is essentially just the hydrated form of the other... $\endgroup$ – Zhe Apr 24 '17 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/50642/… $\endgroup$ – Nilay Ghosh Apr 24 '17 at 14:25

Oxidation of aromatic aldehydes to acids by air oxidation catalysed by CuO is reported in Molecules 2008 13 948

None of the other reagents can oxidise aldehyde to acid.

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