Oxidising alcohols is commonly carried out by reaction with dichromates. These, however, are toxic and carcinogenic as well as being very bad for the environment.
This version uses hot copper oxide as the catalyst for the reaction, converting ethanol vapour to (mainly) ethanal – though with a little ethanoic acid as well.
Ethanol Oxidation – pupil
Ethanol Oxidation – Teacher / Technician
Ethanol Oxidation- Risk Assessment