Oxidizing and Reducing Agents

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Homework Statement



Identify the oxidizing agent and the reducing agent.

5Ag(s) + MnO4-(aq) + H+(aq) >>> 5Ag+(aq) + Mn2+(aq) + H2O(l)

Homework Equations



Increase of electrons is reduction caused by a reducing agent.

Decrease of electrons is oxidation caused by an oxidizing agent.

The Attempt at a Solution


[/B]
The answer has MnO4- as what is reduced and therefor the oxidizing agent, and of course 5Ag+(aq) as the reducing agent.

****
I don't understand why the whole polyatomic ion is said to be reduced; it doesn't even exist on the other side of the equation. I totally understand why Ag(s) because it is clearly getting oxidized.


To me, this is like asking when an ice cube is colder, before it melts or after it melts. It doesn't make sense because there is no ice cube after it melts.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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it doesn't even exist on the other side of the equation.
You're not being asked to identify or assign redox properties to the products. Just to identify which reactant is the oxidizing agent, and which the reducing agent. You've done that, with the one typo,
of course 5Ag+(aq) as the reducing agent.
and that's all you were asked to do. Don't overthink the simple problems.
 
  • #3
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You're not being asked to identify or assign redox properties to the products. Just to identify which reactant is the oxidizing agent, and which the reducing agent. You've done that, with the one typo,

and that's all you were asked to do. Don't overthink the simple problems.

Thank-you, I forgot to look at the half reaction equation.
 

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