Oxidation reaction-which is oxidized?

  • #1
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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 charge.
S is neutral.


So: Reactants and products have the same net charge?

But, S when from 2- to 0 charge. Therefore, it was oxidized (gained two electrons).
Oxygen went form 0 to 2-. So, it was reduced.
Ag stayed the same. 1+ to 1+.

But, I read that Ag is actually being oxidized.
I'm not really sure what's happening.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Merlin3189
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I agree with your analysis.
Oxidation and reduction are two sides of the same coin, which is why these reactions are often called redox reactions.

When Ag + 2S -> Ag2S the silver is oxidised from Ag to Ag+ and the sulphur reduced from S to S2-
The silver was already oxidised and did not change. The S2- was oxidised back to S
 
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  • #3
Borek
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But, S when from 2- to 0 charge. Therefore, it was oxidized (gained two electrons).
Oxygen went form 0 to 2-. So, it was reduced.
Ag stayed the same. 1+ to 1+.
Bullseye.
 
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  • #4
Merlin3189
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So much more concise than me!
 
  • #5
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Thank you for your help; both of you! I'm relieved that I am thinking about this the right way!
 

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