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Kinetic studies of the oxidation of benzhydrol and some of its para-substituted derivatives using phase transferred permanganate in organic solvents that are immiscible with water have been carried out. The products of oxidation were the corresponding benzophenones. Kinetically first order dependence on the concentrations of substrate as well as the oxidant has been observed. The reaction rate was found to decrease with an increase in the dielectric constant of the organic solvent employed. The electronic effects of the substituents were found to be interesting. Both electron withdrawing and electron releasing groups at the para position of benzhydrol increased rate of the oxidation. The effects of different phase transfer catalysts (PTC) were also compared. The activation parameters have been evaluated and a mechanism consistent with the kinetic results has been proposed.