INTRODUCTION 95though this name has been applied at various times to the reactionsbrought about by a variety of agents, it will be restricted, in the presentdiscussion, to the dismutation of two similar aldehyde groups into thecorresponding alcohol and carboxylic salt functions by means of aqueousor alcoholic alkali. The conversion of benzaldehyde into a mixture ofbenzyl alcohol and sodium benzoate is an example.CHO+ NaOH -Dismutations of the same type, but involving two unlike aldehyde mole-cules, will be classed as "crossed" Cannizzaro reactions. The reductionof benzaldehyde to benzyl alcohol by means of formaldehyde and alkaliis an example.H2CO - ^ - > II r — - -+HCO2NaThe most commonly employed procedure for carrying out the reactionconsists in shaking or stirring the aldehyde with strong (50%) alkali,in aqueous or alcoholic solution, without heating. Other reagents whichcan be employed to bring about the dismutation include alkali amides in
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