What Happens in a KMnO4 Reaction?


Quick Answer

In a reaction with KMnO4, alkenes undergo an oxidation reaction. KMnO4 is the chemical formula for potassium permanganate, with K representing the element potassium, Mn representing the element manganese and O representing the element oxygen.

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Full Answer

When an alkene is treated with potassium permanganate, the oxygen atoms separate from the manganese atom and bond with the atoms of the alkene, causing it to oxidize. The oxidation can occur with such compounds as sulphuric acid, ethene and glycerol. In the reaction with glycerol, the chemical equation is 14KMnO4 + 4C3H5(OH)3 > 7K2CO3 + 7Mn2O3 +5CO2 +16H2O, which shows the oxygen molecules bonding with atoms from the glycerol.

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