What is Oxidation: Definition and 208 Discussions

Redox (reduction–oxidation, pronunciation: RED-oks or REE-doks) is a type of chemical reaction in which the oxidation states of atoms are changed. Redox reactions are characterized by the actual or formal transfer of electrons between chemical species, most often with one species (the reducing agent) undergoing oxidation (losing electrons) while another species (the oxidizing agent) undergoes reduction (gains electrons). The chemical species from which the electron is removed is said to have been oxidized, while the chemical species to which the electron is added is said to have been reduced. In other words:

Oxidation is the loss of electrons or an increase in the oxidation state of an atom, an ion, or of certain atoms in a molecule.
Reduction is the gain of electrons or a decrease in the oxidation state of an atom, an ion, or of certain atoms in a molecule (a reduction in oxidation state).Many reactions in organic chemistry are redox reactions due to changes in oxidation states but without distinct electron transfer. For example, during the combustion of wood with molecular oxygen, the oxidation state of carbon atoms in the wood increases and that of oxygen atoms decreases as carbon dioxide and water are formed. The oxygen atoms undergo reduction, formally gaining electrons, while the carbon atoms undergo oxidation, losing electrons. Thus oxygen is the oxidizing agent and carbon is the reducing agent in this reaction.Although oxidation reactions are commonly associated with the formation of oxides from oxygen molecules, oxygen is not necessarily included in such reactions, as other chemical species can serve the same function.Redox reactions can occur relatively slowly, as in the formation of rust, or much more rapidly, as in the case of burning fuel. There are simple redox processes, such as the oxidation of carbon to yield carbon dioxide (CO2) or the reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH4), and more complex processes such as the oxidation of glucose (C6H12O6) in the human body. Analysis of bond energies and ionization energies in water allow calculation of the redox potentials.

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  1. PhysicsInterest

    Oxidation of tertiary alcohols

    I’m still a relative newbie to chemistry so if this question is very simple to answer I apologise….. but what prevents the oxidation of a tertiary alcohol cause you can form an aldehyde and carboxylic acid from a primary alcohol and a ketone from a secondary but what is it that prevents a...
  2. sliqu

    I Vanadium oxide oxidation states binding energy -- unequal spacing

    Hello, How come in XPS the binding energy gaps between oxidation states of vanadium oxide are not equally spaced? Is there a reason they are not all equally spaced? V2+ (VO) 513.0 eV V3+ (V2O3) 515.6 eV V4+ (VO2) 516.0 eV V5+ (V2O5) 517.1 eV Many thanks
  3. samy4408

    About oxidation and reduction in organic Chemistry

    We studied in chemistry that the concept of oxidation and reduction is the exchange of electrons between two chemical substance ,but when i started to study organic chemistry i saw that when we talk about for example the oxidation of a compound it can loss atoms and change his constitution...
  4. P

    Photocatalytic oxidation over TiO2

    Hi all, This forum looks amazing ! I'm trying to get my head around photocatalytic oxidation but I don't have a strong background in chemistry. I was specifically looking into the decomposition of phenyl isothiocyanate and trinitrotoluene using photocatalytic oxidation over TiO2 (assuming...
  5. P

    Iron Oxidation States: Fe+2, Fe+3 & Fe- Explained

    I saw on Wikipedia that Fe has both positive and negative oxidation states. I know that Fe will willingly give up its 2 electrons to form an ionic bond with O for example, making it Fe+2. 1. But how can Fe+3 exist? This means it gives up three electrons right? Does this mean the Fe atoms...
  6. Zohar

    Oxidation States of Molecules and Atoms and the Relationship with Charges

    Hey, y'all. I know the oxidation state of a carbon in an ethene is -2 while carbon in Acetylene is -1. As well I know acetylene has more disspating elcetrons due to pai bonds. So how come charges between the acetylene carbon are more negative than in ethene while the carbones oxidations states...
  7. A

    Finding the Reaction Scheme for Photocatalytic Oxidation of Phenol

    I researched the solar collectors implemented in practice for water detoxification and I found out that the preferred design is the Compound Parabolic Concentrator. Knowing that I have no information regarding radiation beyond what's taught generally in heat transfer courses in chemical...
  8. r12214001

    Chemistry Complex ion oxidation state (with pic)

    question fig: solution manual: my solution: oxidation state of central cobalt is +6 due to 6 oxygen surrounding it,The other cobalt is +2 due to 2 oxygen surrounding it with NH3 ligand which is no count for oxidation state.
  9. Physics lover

    Chemistry Can Jones Reagent Oxidize Benzyl Alcohol?

    I know that Jones reagent is a weak oxidant and can reduce primary and secondary alcohols and benzyl alcohol is primary,but then i remembered some exceptions,like fehling solution can not reduce aromatic compounds.So according to me Jones reagent can not reduce benzyl alcohol.Please tell me the...
  10. T

    Fuel/oxidizer preheating to a high temperature

    imagine you burn something, like H2 in O2. let's say you have a nice flame with a temperature T. for the sake of this discussion let's assume that T is 1000. what happens if you preheat both H2 and O2 to 1000 first? is the resulting flame temperature higher? does the flame look the same? what...
  11. K

    Investigating the Stoichiometry of Reactions 1 & 2

    Cl2(g) + 2I–(aq) -->I2(aq) + 2Cl–(aq) (reaction 1) [2S2O3^(2-)(aq) + I2(aq) --> S4O6(2-)(aq) + 2I–(aq) (reaction 2) Why isn't n(I2)(reaction 2)=2n(S2O3^(2-))(reaction 2). I don't see why this is wrong. <edit: remove size and italics>
  12. R

    Another radical question: oxidation limited by radicals

    I am seeing from my results that an oxidation process is taking place, the pollutants degradation correlates closely with the formation of radicals. However, in one case there are less radicals produced and there is no degradation... I would like to ask if on occasions there must be a...
  13. R

    How to determine which radicals are dominant in oxidation

    I'm looking at the oxidation of I- ions by OH radicals to form iodine and finally triiodide. This is a well known method of dosimetry, however some consider it flawed because during disassociation of solution other radicals are produced such as H or O radicals. They could also potentially...
  14. B

    Calculate E cell for the following reaction at 25deg celcius

    Homework Statement Calculate E cell for the following reaction at 25deg celcius 3 CU(s) + 2 MnO4-(aq) + 8 H+(aq) →2 MnO2(s) + 3 CU^2+(aq) + 4 H2O(l) Given: [CU^2+] = 0.010M, [MnO4-] = 2.0M, [H+] = 1.0M I’ve posted a picture of my work, if someone could just let me know if I answered the...
  15. B

    Calculate E cell for the following reaction at 25deg celcius

    Homework Statement 2 IO3−(aq) + 6 H+(aq) + 10 I−(aq) →6 I2(s) + 6 H2O(l) I didn’t want to re-type all of this up but I uploaded of picture of my work for this problem. I was just wondering if I completed it correctly and if not if someone could guide me in the right direction. Thank you!
  16. A

    Are the terminals of a Battery neutral?

    So I've been learning how batteries work. What I learned is that a battery consists of 2 pieces of metal both with different electronegativities. These metals react with an electrolyte. One metal (called the anode) is oxidized and has its electrons removed, leaving behind a positive ion which...
  17. alijan kk

    Calculate Oxidation State of Acetate (C2H3O2)

    how to calculate , oxidation state of polyatomic ions like " acetate" C2H3O2 2(4)-3-4= +1 ? how do we know when carbon or hydrogen are sharing x electrons
  18. Jr_Particle_Hunters

    Does Phosphate Buffer Suit All Catalysts in Water Splitting Experiments?

    Hi there. We are working on a school science project to compare how different catalysts in water splitting affect the energy/voltage needed to carry out the process. One of our catalysts will be Co-Pi, which is created by adding Cobalt-nitrate to a .1M phosphate buffer solution during...
  19. NTL2009

    How to speed copper oxidation?

    I'm working on some decorative items made of copper. I'd like to have them achieve the brown color of an old copper penny (or the old copper pipes in my home). I've read you can do this with some chemicals, but due to size/shape I'd like to do this some other way. I'm also concerned that any...
  20. S

    Oxidation Numbers for H3AsO4 and H2S Equation

    Homework Statement Identify the element oxidized and the element reduced, in this chemical equation: H3AsO4+H2S ---> H3AsO3+S+H2OHomework Equations none The Attempt at a Solution [/B] So I have learned the rules for oxidation numbers: 1. The oxidation number of an element is always 0...
  21. alphaj

    Redox Reaction in Dissolved Ammonium Chloride

    Quick note: Sorry for dominating the homework help board, guys! But, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who replies to my excessive questions. This forum's input has become integral to me as I am in a position now where I can't go to my teacher for help because of the logistics of commuting...
  22. alphaj

    Oxidation reaction-which is oxidized?

    Homework Statement 2Ag2S(s) + O2(g) = Ag2O(s) + S(s) Which is being oxidized? Homework Equations N/a The Attempt at a Solution Reactants: Ag2S is neutral, with Ag having +1 charge and S having 2- charge. O2 is neutral Products: Ag2O is neutral, with Ag having a 1+ charge and O having -2...
  23. Vavi Ask

    How Is MnSO4 Oxidized to MnO4- in an Acidic Medium?

    Homework Statement In the laboratory how is MnSO4 oxidised to MnO4- in an acidic medium? a. NO3- b. O2 c. Cr2O72- d. S2O82- (NB: If I've posted this question in a wrong thread please tell me exactly the right place to post it rather than just deleting it and saying to post it in the right...
  24. A

    Non-combustible exothermic oxidation of a Hydrocarbon

    I have 2 queries and would be great if someone can lead me to some specific answers - 1. Is it possible to oxidise a complex hydrocarbon like Ethanol or Gasoline in a non-combustible but exothermic reaction? 2. If this kind of oxidation is possible, what would be the best catalysts to achieve...
  25. Zeynel

    Exploring Telomeres and Aging: A Layman's Guide

    I read that cells in human body are continuously oxidized. Can you explain in layman's term what this means? Is it possible to explain cell oxidation withot reference to "electron loss." Because I cannot imagine visually how a cell can lose an electron or what that means.
  26. A

    Understanding REDOX: How Do Mn, Fe, and NH4 Oxidize in Water?

    Hi, In a water that contains manganese, iron and ammonium, I wondered what interaction they have with each other in terms of oxidation? I understand that they all oxidise but which element would oxidise first? Is it as simple as looking at the element and the shells to see which would lose an...
  27. M

    MHB Oxidation Numbers: Fe203+3CO to 2Fe+3CO2

    By using oxidation numbers can someone show me what is oxidised and reduced Fe203+3co->2Fe+3co2
  28. M

    MHB Oxidation and reduction question

    I am trying to work out which is oxidised and reduced in this reaction2mg + o2 ->2mgo so the mg has a oxidation number of 2+ and the oxygen has a oxidation number of 3+. I am not sure what the oxidation numbers of magnesium and oxygen are in magnesium oxide as it does not work out and it is not...
  29. Wrichik Basu

    What is the difference between valence factor and n-factor?

    What is the difference between valence factor and n-factor for oxidants and reductants? Take ##H_2O_2## as an example. What is the difference between the n-factor and valence factor for this compound? Also, how do I find the n-factor for any oxidant or reductant?
  30. Comeback City

    What factors determine an atom's oxidation state?

    I understand the concept of oxidation states and how to find them, but what confuses me is how an atom "decides" which oxidation state to choose. Or even "what it is at all" that decides the oxidation state. Specifically, the transition metals with multiple oxidation states seem to be the...
  31. T

    Electron transfer and oxidation state

    When beryllium donates a pair of electrons to oxygen, that's oxidation, and the metal is Be(II). When carbon and oxygen share 6 electrons, 2 from carbon and 4 from oxygen, this is also oxidation. Of carbon. Even though it got more electrons, and even, I heard, has a negative charge. When...
  32. S

    Aluminium Oxidation: Reusable Portable Circuit Solutions

    I have watched many videos of aluminium air batteries and it got me wondering. Could this same process work if you stored the aluminum in vacuum and exposed it to oxygen? For example: A high surface area aluminium plate is in a glass bulb under high vacuum. A copper lead connects to the...
  33. TheQuietOne

    How to increase oxidation in something

    Not sure if this is Chemistry or not, but how would one increase oxidation in an object?
  34. H

    Oxidation of iron and galvanised iron in bleach

    In a laboratory experiment I have tested plain carbon steel in a beaker of bleach (sodium hypochlorite), immersed for a week. The result is a magenta-coloured solution with a large amount of ferrous hydroxide deposits. Q1) I haven't been able to find anywhere anything that might be causing...
  35. DK168

    Oxidation of Aldehyde with Potassium Dichromate(VI)

    One method to oxidize aldehyde is by using acidified potassium dichromate(VI) solution The step: A small amount of potassium dichromate(VI) solution is acidified with dilute sulphuric acid and a few drops of the aldehyde is added. If nothing happens in the cold, the mixture is warmed gently for...
  36. Titan97

    How can I find oxidation number of N in N2O?

    Homework Statement How can I find oxidation number of N in N2O using lewis dot structure? Homework Equations None The Attempt at a Solution Is the structure of N2O like this:
  37. Delta what

    What is the purpose of glacial acetic acid in the oxidation of benzhydrol?

    In a lab we oxidized benzhydrol to produce benzophenone. We use glacial acetic acid and sodium dichromate dehydrate to oxidize the benzhydrol. Then we set up the first extraction with water and CH2Cl2 and the second with NaHCO3 and CH2Cl2. I am trying to figure out what all of the...
  38. T

    Why do transition metals have multiple oxidation states?

    I have googled it and cannot find anything. Apparently the rule that transition metals want full or half-full orbitals is false. I understand why the 4s orbital would be lost but I don't understand why some d electrons would be lost. For example in Mn6+, the electron configuration would be [Ar]...
  39. Marcin H

    Oxidation and specific heat capacity

    Homework Statement If a metal is highly susceptible to oxidation, what effect might this have on calculating the quantity of heat transferred to a metal? Use specific examples. Homework Equations Q=mcΔT The Attempt at a Solution Would oxidation change the specific heat of the metal? Since...
  40. Emmanuel_Euler

    Oxidation number of carbon in (NH4)2C2O4

    What is the Oxidation Number of Carbon and Nitrogen In this compound (NH4)2C2O4?? i think the oxidation number of carbon is (+4) and Nitrogen is (-4). am i true?? or not? Note:this is not a homework.
  41. Stephanus

    Electron shell, Oxidation number

    Dear PF Forum, I think I have asked too many question for one day. I'm trying to understand antioxidant and free radicals. But, first I'd like to understand oxidation number. The oxidation number for hydrogen is +1 or -1. I can understand that. Either Hydrogen must lost one electron or gains one...
  42. G

    Can I get description of how heat is realized during fire?

    Hello. I've learn that fire is chain-reaction process when burning materials are surrounded by oxygen with enough amount and they're heated exceeding some ignition point. That point is nothing but the temperature above which oxidation between material and oxygen begins. Then during...
  43. MexChemE

    Diffusion -- Tarnishing of metal surfaces

    Homework Statement Problem 18B.13 from Transport Phenomena, BSL. Tarnishing of metal surfaces. In the oxidation of most metals the volume of oxide produced is greater than that of the metal consumed. This oxide thus tends to form a compact film, effectively insulating the oxygen and metal from...
  44. _Anthony_

    Variations in bubble persistance

    The apparatus consisted of a one gallon air tight clear plastic jug one quarter filled with ferrous chloride (uh, Fe(II)Cl ?), water and sufficient hydrochloric acid to complete the transformation. The remaining space was filled with oxygen at atmospheric pressure. When triggered a mechanism...
  45. J

    Oxidation state of oxygen in peroxides

    Homework Statement The oxidation state of oxygen in all compounds is -2, except in peroxides such as H2O2, Na2O2 and BaO2 where it is -1. If it is -1, then why can't we write H2O2 and Na2O2 as HO and NaO respectively?
  46. Justin LaRose

    What are the Oxidation States of Carbon in Sebacic Acid and Propylene Glycol?

    Hello, I am a physics major and my friend is on a research vessel in the Arctic and can only operate email from the limited internet access there. I do not know organic chemistry so I was hoping someone could tell me if this was right (it is for homework when she returns; not in relation to her...
  47. M

    Cleaning copper connections for high precision instruments

    Hi all, Here's my first post with a question I've been trying to solve for a while. I work with electronic components of very high quality and we try to make all our connections using thin copper ribbons of various thickness. I have started cleaning my copper connections with a solution of...
  48. B

    Chemistry How to calculate number of moles of H2O2 oxidized

    Homework Statement How many moles of hydrogen peroxide will be oxidized by 0.0045 moles of potassium permanganate in acidic solution? I am unable to think of how you get started? Homework Equations [/B] n - m/mmThe Attempt at a Solution I've balanced the equation for an acidic solution...
  49. Gjmdp

    Why Nitrogen has 5 Oxidation Numbers that are false?

    My Chemistry Teacher told that 5 of the 6 oxidation numbers of Nitrogen are not true. He said something like it is a mathematical trick for I don't know what. The real oxidation number is -3. Can anyone explain me what are the 5 false oxidation number? Thank you.
  50. Hyo X

    Atmospheric oxidation generating voltage?

    Imagine a sample on an insulating chip. The material sample is contacting two electrodes. The material (a composite, could have liquid component) has a uniform, presumably amorphous, structure between the electrodes - i.e. it is not patterned with different layers. Is there such a material...