# Action of hot alkaline KMnO4 on tert butyl benzene

Side chain oxidation of aryl alkanes takes place if there is at least one alpha hydrogen present by all accounts I presumed that there would be no reaction. However the answer given was trimethyl acetic acid. Is the answer key wrong?

## 2 Answers

A similar reaction with chromium oxide in alkaline solution has been documented.

The acidic chromium oxide serves the same role as alkaline KMnO4 i.e a strong oxidizing agent. As pointed out by @Waylander in the comments permanganate oxidizes double bonds even in aromatic compounds.

Reference:
$\large{•}$ Chromium Oxidations in Organic Chemistry; By G. Cainelli, G. Cardillo

The link to the book was found by @Abcd

Under normal circumstances, kmno4 will not oxidise tertiary butyl benzene. However, under drastic conditions, oxidative cleavage of bonds occur and a mixture of acetic acid and trimethyl acetic acid is formed. Hence the answer is incorrect. They should have mentioned the word 'drastic conditions'.