9 posts • Page 1 of 1
An oxidation equation is when an element has a lower oxidation number in the reactants compared to the products and/or when there are electrons in the products side of the equation. A reduction equation is when the electrons are found on the left side of the equation and/or when the oxidation number is greater in the reactants compared to the products. Losing an electron is oxidation and gaining and electron is reduction.
To add on to the previous answer, something to note is that the substance that is 'oxidized' is also known as the 'reducing agent', and the substance that is 'reduced' is also known as the 'oxidizing agent'. This is because a substance that experiences oxidation (or the loss of electrons) inherently causes reduction in another substance (another substance will inevitably gain the electrons that the original substance lost).
Another way to remember this is OIL RIG. Oxidation is Loss. Reduction is Gain. So you'll want to compare the reactants and products and see if the oxidation number decreases or increases to help determine whether or not it was oxidized or reduced.
Michael Cheng 1C wrote:How can you tell which reaction to flip when doing the redox problems?
The overall E should be positive for the reaction in order for it to be spontaneous. So you have to look at the two seperate E's and decide which to flip in order for Erxn to be positive.
When something loses electrons it is oxidized and when it gains electrons it is reduced. A tip to remember as well though is that an oxidizing agent is the one being reduced and the reducing agent is the one being oxidized and both are on the reactant side of the redox equation.
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests