ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oxidation of toluene by potassium permanganate. Potassium permanganate (potassium manganate (VII), KMn04), a good oxidising agent, is the purple liquid in the leftmost test tube. Toluene (methyl benzene, C7H8) is the colourless liquid on top of it. As they mix and react, the toluene changes to benzoic acid - eventually leaving a black precipitate of manganese oxide (MnO2).
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