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Best oxidizing and reducing agent in periodic table

  1. Dec 18, 2005 #1
    I need to find the best oxidizing and reducing agent in the periodic table and say why i chose what i chose.

    I think the best oxidizing agent is Fluorine

    and the best reducing agent is Lithium im not sure if my predictions are correct and if they are I dont know how to explain why I chose them.

    Can someone please help me out?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2005 #2


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    What does oxidation and reduction mean?
    How did you come to chose those particular elements?
  4. Dec 21, 2005 #3
    Fluorine is the most electronegative element.
  5. Dec 21, 2005 #4
  6. Jan 11, 2006 #5
    how did you came up with lithium & florine?

    do you think your answer makes sense???
  7. Jan 17, 2006 #6
    If I understood your question correctly, I think the two extremes would be francium and flourine.
  8. Jan 20, 2006 #7


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    Fluorine is correct. It has the greatest electronegativity and hence is a strong electron attractor. By a similar reasoning, try and figure out the other answer (it is not lithium).

    Edit : Just realized this is over a month old :redface:
  9. Apr 7, 2010 #8
    Hi! Its nice to meet all of you!
    I'm not sure I understand why fluorine is a strong oxidising agent... Isnt oxidation loss of electrons? Doesnt fluorine gain electrons? When fluorine pulls electrons to itself doesnt it increase in oxidation number meaning that it becomes oxidised and hence the reducing agent?
  10. Apr 8, 2010 #9


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    Oxidizing agent gets reduced, but it oxidizes something else. Similarly in the case of reduction - reducing agent reduces something, and it gets oxidized in the process.

    Fluorine oxidizes almost everything - so it is a good oxidizing agent.

  11. Oct 15, 2010 #10
    You are right with Fluorine being the best oxidizing agent and your predictions of lithium being the best reducing agent is also is correct. Now it is true that Francium has the lowest ionization energy, but due to its large size it has a less polarizing cations, thus it is not the best reducing agent. Lithium relatively high ionization energy is counteracted by the large amount of energy released when the unusually small, highly polarizing Li+ cation interacts with the surrounding water molecules.
  12. Oct 15, 2010 #11


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    I'm glad we finally got that straightened out....
  13. May 26, 2011 #12
    i think fluorine repels the incoming electron due to thick electronic cloud.
    the best answer to me is chlorine. because chlorine has maximum electron affinity in periodic table.
    the second answer to me is caesium.. as reducing agent means which give electron easily, so i think caesium gives the electron much easily than lithium due to big size of caesium.
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