Oxidation-Reduction reaction The role of Oxidation numbers in Oxidation-Reduction reaction Oxidation number vs. The True fee of Ions
Oxidizing Agents and also Reducing Agents Conjugate Oxidizing Agent/Reducing Agent pairs The loved one Strengths of steels as reducing Agents


The hatchet oxidation was originally provided to describereactions in i m sorry an facet combines with oxygen.

Example: The reaction between magnesium metal and oxygen toform magnesium oxide involves the oxidation that magnesium.

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The ax reduction originates from the Latin stem meaning"to command back." Anything the that leads ago tomagnesium metal thus involves reduction.

The reaction between magnesium oxide and also carbon in ~ 2000C toform magnesium metal and carbon monoxide is an instance of thereduction of magnesium oxide to magnesium metal.


After electrons were discovered, smashville247.netists ended up being convincedthat oxidation-reduction reactions connected the transport ofelectrons indigenous one atom to another. From this perspective, thereaction between magnesium and also oxygen is composed as follows.

2 Mg + O2 " width="17"height="9"sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2

In the food of this reaction, every magnesium atom loser twoelectrons to form an Mg2+ ion.

Mg " width="17" height="9"sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif">Mg2+ + 2 e-

And, every O2 molecule gains 4 electrons come forma pair that O2- ions.

O2 + 4 e- " width="17"height="9"sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 O2-

Because electrons are neither developed nordestroyed in a smashville247.netical reaction, oxidation and reduction arelinked. The is impossible to have actually one without the other, together shownin the figure below.


Practice difficulty 1:

Determine which facet is oxidized and also which is reduced when lithium reacts through nitrogen to kind lithium nitride.

6 Li(s) + N2(g) " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 Li3N(s)

Click below to examine your answer come Practice problem 1

The function of OxidationNumbers in Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

smashville247.netists at some point extended the idea that oxidation andreduction to reaction that perform not formally indicate the transferof electrons.

Consider the adhering to reaction.

CO(g) + H2O(g)" width="17" height="9"sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif">CO2(g) + H2(g)

As deserve to be viewed in the figure below, the full number ofelectrons in the valence shell of each atom remains continuous inthis reaction.


What changes in this reaction is the oxidation state the theseatoms. The oxidation state of carbon increases from +2 come +4,while the oxidation state of the hydrogen decreases from +1 to 0.


Oxidation and also reduction are because of this bestdefined together follows. Oxidation occurs once theoxidation number of an atom becomes larger. Reductionoccurs as soon as the oxidation variety of an atom becomes smaller.

Practice trouble 2:

Determine which atom is oxidized and which is lessened in the following reaction

Sr(s) + 2 H2O(l) " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> Sr2+(aq) + 2 OH-(aq) + H2(g)

Click right here to check your answer to Practice difficulty 2

Interactive tutorial on assigning oxidation number from

requires Macromedia Shockwave


Oxidation number Versusthe True charge on ions

The state ionic and covalent define theextremes the a continually of bonding. Over there is part covalentcharacter in also the many ionic compounds and vice versa.

It is advantageous to think around the link of the key groupmetals as if they consisted of positive and an adverse ions. Thesmashville247.netistry that magnesium oxide, for example, is easy to understandif we assume that MgO includes Mg2+ and O2-ions. Yet no compounds room 100% ionic. There is experimentalevidence, because that example, that the true fee on the magnesium andoxygen atom in MgO is +1.5 and -1.5.

Oxidation states carry out a compromise between a an effective modelof oxidation-reduction reactions based upon the assumption thatthese compounds contain ions and also our understanding that the truecharge top top the ion in this compounds is no as huge as thismodel predicts. By definition, the oxidation state of an atom isthe charge that atom would carry if the link were purelyionic.

For the energetic metals in teams IA and IIA, the differencebetween the oxidation state of the steel atom and the charge onthis atom is tiny enough to it is in ignored. The main team metals inGroups IIIA and also IVA, however, form compounds that have actually asignificant amount of covalent character. It is misleading, forexample, come assume that aluminum bromide contains Al3+and Br- ions. It actually exists as Al2Br6molecules.

This difficulty becomes even more severe as soon as we rotate to thesmashville247.netistry the the change metals. MnO, for example, is ionicenough come be thought about a salt that consists of Mn2+ andO2- ions. Mn2O7, top top the otherhand, is a covalent compound the boils at room temperature. Itis therefore an ext useful to think about this compound as if itcontained manganese in a +7 oxidation state, no Mn7+ions.

Oxidizing Agents andReducing Agents

Let"s take into consideration the function that each facet plays in thereaction in i m sorry a details element gains or loser electrons..

When magnesium reacts with oxygen, the magnesium atoms donateelectrons come O2 molecules and also thereby mitigate theoxygen. Magnesium as such acts together a reducing agent inthis reaction.

2 Mg + O2 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 MgO
reducing agent

The O2 molecules, ~ above the otherhand, acquire electrons native magnesium atoms and thereby oxidation themagnesium. Oxygen is therefore an oxidizing agent.

2 Mg + O2 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 MgO
oxidizing agent

Oxidizing and also reducing agents because of this can be defined asfollows. Oxidizing agents get electrons. Reducingagents lose electrons.

Practice difficulty 3:

Identify the oxidizing agent and also the reducing certified dealer in the complying with reaction.

Ca(s) + H2(g) " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> CaH2(g)

Click right here to examine your answer come Practice problem 3

The table listed below identifies the reduce agent and theoxidizing certified dealer for several of the reactions disputed in this webpage. One tendency is automatically obvious: The main group metalsact as reducing agents in all of their smashville247.netical reactions.

Typical reactions of Main group Metals

Reaction Reducing Agent Oxidizing Agent
2 Na + Cl2 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 NaCl Na Cl2
2 K + H2 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 KH K H2
4 Li + O2 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 Li2O Li O2
2 Na + O2 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> Na2O2 Na O2
2 Na + 2 H2O " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 Na+ + 2 OH- + H2 Na H2O
2 K + 2 NH3 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 K+ + 2 NH2- + H2 K NH3
2 Mg + O2 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 2 MgO Mg O2
3 Mg + N2 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> Mg3N2 Mg N2
Ca + 2 H2O " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> Ca2+ + 2 OH- + H2 Ca H2O
2 Al + 3 Br2 " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> Al2Br6 Al Br2
Mg + 2 H+ " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> Mg2++ H2 Mg H+
Mg + H2O " width="17" height="9" sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> MgO + H2 Mg H2O

Conjugate OxidizingAgent/Reducing certified dealer Pairs

Metals act together reducing agents in their smashville247.netical reactions.When copper is heated over a flame, because that example, the surfaceslowly turns black as the copper metal reduces oxygen in theatmosphere to type copper(II) oxide.


If we rotate off the flame, and also blow H2 gas over thehot steel surface, the black color CuO that created on the surface ar ofthe steel is slowly converted ago to copper metal. In the courseof this reaction, CuO is diminished to copper metal. Thus, H2is the reducing agent in this reaction, and CuO acts as anoxidizing agent.


An essential feature the oxidation-reduction reactions have the right to berecognized by analyzing what happens to the copper in this pairof reactions. The very first reaction counter copper metal into CuO,thereby transforming a reducing certified dealer (Cu) into an oxidizingagent (CuO). The second reaction counter an oxidizing agent(CuO) right into a reducing certified dealer (Cu). Every reducing agent istherefore linked, or coupled, come a conjugate oxidizing agent, andvice versa.

Every time a reducing agent loser electrons, it creates anoxidizing certified dealer that can gain electrons if the reaction werereversed.


Conversely, every time an oxidizing certified dealer gains electrons, itforms a reducing agent that might lose electron if the reactionwent in the opposite direction.


The idea that oxidizing agents and also reducing agents are linked,or coupled, is why castle are called conjugate oxidizingagents and reducing agents. Conjugate comes from the Latinstem meaning "to join together." it is thus usedto describe things the are connected or coupled, such together oxidizingagents and also reducing agents.

The main group metals space all reducing agents. They often tend to be"strong" to reduce agents. The energetic metals in GroupIA, for example, provide up electrons better than any type of other elementsin the regular table.

The fact that an active metal together as sodium is a strongreducing agent must tell united state something about the relativestrength of the Na+ ion together an oxidizing agent. Ifsodium steel is relatively good at offering up electrons, Na+ions should be unusually negative at picking up electrons. If Na is astrong to reduce agent, the Na+ ion need to be a weakoxidizing agent.


Conversely, if O2 has such a high affinity forelectrons the it is unusually good at accepting them indigenous otherelements, it should have the ability to hang onto this electrons when itpicks them up. In various other words, if O2 is a strongoxidizing agent, then the O2- ion have to be a weakreducing agent.


In general, the relationship in between conjugate oxidizing andreducing agents deserve to be explained as follows. Every strongreducing certified dealer (such together Na) has actually a weak conjugate oxidizing agent(such together the Na+ ion). Every strongoxidizing certified dealer (such together O2) has actually a weakconjugate reducing agent (such as the O2-ion).

The loved one Strengthof metals as to reduce Agents

We have the right to determine the relative strengths of a pair of steels asreducing agents by determining even if it is a reaction occurs as soon as oneof these metals is blended with a salt of the other. Take into consideration therelative toughness of iron and aluminum, for example. Nothinghappens when we mix powdered aluminum metal with iron(III) oxide.If we location this mixture in a crucible, however, and get thereaction began by using a small heat, a vigorous reactiontakes ar to give aluminum oxide and molten iron metal.

2 Al(s) + Fe2O3(s)" width="17" height="9"sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> Al2O3(s) + 2 Fe(l)

By assigning oxidation numbers, we have the right to pick out the oxidationand palliation halves of the reaction.


Aluminum is oxidized to Al2O3 in thisreaction, which way that Fe2O3 must bethe oxidizing agent. Vice versa, Fe2O3 isreduced to iron metal, which way that aluminum have to be thereducing agent. Due to the fact that a reducing certified dealer is constantly transformedinto that conjugate oxidizing agent in an oxidation-reductionreaction, the assets of this reaction encompass a new oxidizingagent (Al2O3) and also a new reducing agent(Fe).


Since the reaction proceeds in this direction, that seemsreasonable come assume that the beginning materials contain thestronger to reduce agent and the stronger oxidizing agent.


In other words, if aluminum reduce Fe2O3to type Al2O3 and also iron metal, aluminum mustbe a more powerful reducing agent 보다 iron.

We have the right to conclude indigenous the reality that aluminum can not reducesodium chloride to form sodium steel that the beginning materialsin this reaction room the weaker oxidizing agent and also the weakerreducing agent.


We can test this hypothesis by asking: What happens once wetry to run the reaction in the opposite direction? (Is sodiummetal solid enough to reduce a salt of aluminum come aluminummetal?) when this reaction is run, we uncover that sodium metal can,in fact, minimize aluminum chloride come aluminum metal and also sodiumchloride when the reaction is run at temperature hot sufficient tomelt the reactants.

See more: Is Hydrogen Fluoride Polar Or Nonpolar ? Is Hf Polar Or Non Polar

3 Na(l) + AlCl3(l)" width="17" height="9"sgi_fullpath="/disk2/smashville247.netistry/gensmashville247.net/public_html/topicreview/bp/ch9/graphics/rarrow.gif"> 3 NaCl(l) + Al(l)

If sodium is strong enough to alleviate Al3+salts to aluminum metal and also aluminum is solid enough come reduceFe3+ salt to stole metal, the family member strengths ofthese to reduce agents can be summarized as follows.