I was working with Fehling's solution in the lab today with several unknown compounds.
One of them, which was aqueous, was clear and colourless....its structure is either that of formaldehyde or a 4 carbon ketone/aldehyde
The results that baffled me was the fact that when the unknown was mixed with fehling's at room temperature, no reaction occurred. As soon as it was heated (after a minute), the cupric precipitate formed. I just don't understand why heat was needed for the reaction to occur. To my knowledge, heat would be needed to dissolve the unknown...but the unknown was already aqueous!!
I was debating whether it had to do anything with the compound (specifically the 4 C compound) converting between a ring and a hemiacetal...with the hemiactal doing the reducing (I believe)...would this reaction be driven by heat?
help me out guys. Thanks