# What's the reaction mechanism for the oxidation of primary alcohols (e.g. ethanol) to carboxylic acids using acidified KMnO4?

I've seen mechanisms for $\ce{MnO4-}$ in base reacting with primary and secondary alcohols to oxidise them, but what about $\ce{MnO4-}$ in acid?

All the ones I've found have either been referring to $\ce{MnO4-}$ in base or just showed the redox reaction occurring. I've been trying to look for one for a while now, but I still haven't found a satisfying one (i.e. one that goes beyond showing the reaction in redox equation form).

I hope anyone who knows anything about it can answer me on that, and as thoroughly as you can. Thanks.

• – Mithoron Feb 27 '18 at 21:31
• also chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/9001/… chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/43283/… but I don't see proper duplicate. – Mithoron Feb 27 '18 at 21:36
• I was looking for a mechanism specifically about acidified KMnO4. I can't seem to find one very easily, not even here on Stack Exchange. I hope someone has an answer for it. – Antonio J. Salamat Feb 28 '18 at 8:29
• Well, it looks like doesn't it? And it's not particularly strange, redox mechanisms are notoriously obscure and often debatable. Even if you find it there's high probability it's more or less wrong. – Mithoron Feb 28 '18 at 16:25