Best oxidizing and reducing agent in periodic table

  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. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,316
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    What does oxidation and reduction mean?
    How did you come to chose those particular elements?
  4. Fluorine is the most electronegative element.
  5. how did you came up with lithium & florine?

    do you think your answer makes sense???
  6. If I understood your question correctly, I think the two extremes would be francium and flourine.
  7. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,044
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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:
  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?
  9. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    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.

  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.
  11. chemisttree

    chemisttree 3,717
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I'm glad we finally got that straightened out....
  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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