Edexcel A Level Chemistry:复习笔记4.2.2 Ethanol Oxidation

Core Practical 5: Oxidation of Ethanol


Oxidation of ethanol

  • Primary alcohols can be oxidised to form aldehydes which can undergo further oxidation to form carboxylic acids
    • When ethanol is oxidised, ethanal is produced and when oxidised further ethanoic acid will be formed

Synthesis and purification of ethanal and ethanoic acid 

  • Carefully add 20 cm3 of acidified potassium dichromate(VI) solution, K2Cr2O7 (aq), to a 50 cm3 pear-shaped flask and cool the flask in an iced water bath
  • Set up the reflux apparatus keeping pear shaped flask cool
  • Place anti-bumping granules into the pear shaped flask
  • Measure out 1 cm3 of ethanol
  • Using a pipette, slowly add the ethanol drop wise into the reflux condenser
  • When the ethanol has been added remove the ice bath and allow to warm up to room temperature
  • Position the flask over an electric heater or in a water bath and heat for 20 minutes
    • Ethanol is flammable, therefore. naked flames should not be used when heating which is why the use of an electric heater or water bath is an important safety precaution
  • Purify the product using distillation apparatus


Reflux apparatus for the oxidation of ethanol to ethanoic acid




Oxidation of ethanol by acidified K2Cr2O7 to form an aldehyde by distillation