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MECHANISM OF CANNIZARO REACTION:


Step – (1):
The cannizzaro reaction is initiated by the nucleophilic attack of a hydroxide ion to the carbonyl carbon of an aldehyde molecule by giving a hydrate anion. This hydrate anion can be deprotonated to give an anion in a strongly alkaline medium.
Step – (2):
In this second step, the hydroxide behaves as a base. Now a hydride ion, H- is transferred either from the mono anionic species onto the carbonyl carbon of another aldehyde molecule. The strong electron donating effect of O- groups facilitates the hydride transfer and drives the reaction further. This is the rate determining step of the reaction.

Thus one molecule is oxidized to carboxylic acid and the other one is reduced to an alcohol.

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