Many of the stronger oxidizing agents such as KMnO4 will transform aldehydes into carboxylic acids. Tollens’ reagent (Ag2O) is frequently used. A shiny mirror of metallic silver is deposited through oxidation of aldehydes by Tollens’ reagent, so it is frequently used as a test for aldehydes. Aldehydes are themselves oxidation products of alcohols. A strong oxidizing agent like KMnO4 will oxidize a primary alcohol past the aldehyde all the way to the carboxylic acid oxidation state, while other, weaker oxidizing agents, like PCC, can be used to form aldehydes from alcohols, not oxidizing the aldehyde further. In general, normal ketones are not oxidized except under extreme conditions, with benzylic carbonyl group being an exception, which KMnO4 oxidizes easily.
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