# Are secondary alcohols more easily oxidised as compared to phenol?

Which among the following compounds is oxidised most easily?

1. 2-propanol ($\ce{CH3CHOHCH3}$)
2. phenol ($\ce{PhOH}$)
3. ethoxyethane ($\ce{Et-O-Et}$)
4. 1-methyl cyclohexanol

The answer given in my workbook is option 1. It's obvious to me that options 3 and 4 can't be the right answer (ether, hindrance). But I am confused between options 1 and 2.

I have arguments that can support either of the 2 options. There's less hindrance on phenol so formation of an intermediate ester like chromate ester would be easier their as compared to secondary alcohol. However, phenol is losing aromaticity as well, therefore activation energy of oxidation should be higher as compared to secondary alcohol.

Since $E_\mathrm{a}$ matters more, we would say that secondary alcohol is oxidised more easily, is it?