How do you find a reducing agent

Redox reaction: the process of oxygen transfer

In this text we explain to you what the term Redox reaction understands and which processes are important.

The redox reaction describes a process in which oxidation and reduction run simultaneously. In the partial reaction of oxidation, oxygen is taken up and in the partial reaction of reduction, oxygen is given off. If these two reactions take place at the same time, one speaks of oxygen transfer.

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The term red ox reaction is made up of the terms red (uction) and ox (idation).

Oxidation process

If an element combines with oxygen during a chemical reaction, it is generally referred to as oxidation. The resulting products are called oxides. Using the example of copper (Cu) and oxygen (O), I would like to make the process clear to you:

$ Cu + O \ rightarrow CuO $

Course of the reduction

The oxidation reaction can also be reversed. This reaction is called reduction. During the reduction, an oxide releases the bound oxygen. For example, copper oxide (CuO) can react back to form copper (Cu) and oxygen (O). I would like to show you here:

$ CuO \ rightarrow Cu + O $

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Oxygen transfer in the redox reaction

During the redox reaction, the oxidation and the reduction take place at the same time. A substance, the so-called Oxidizing agent, releases the oxygen, which means it is reduced itself and another substance absorbs this released oxygen, which means it is oxidized. This second substance is called Reducing agent. This must be able to bind the oxygen more strongly than the oxide so that the oxygen transfer can take place. Since the two reactions are interdependent, they are inextricably linked. Let us consider this complex reaction using the example of copper oxide (CuO) and hydrogen (H).

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$ Oxidizing agent \ rightarrow $ provides the oxygen

$ Reducing agent \ rightarrow $ absorbs the oxygen

As you can see in this graphic, copper oxide is the oxidizing agent that has bound the oxygen and makes it available for this reaction. It is therefore also called oxygen donor (Swiss donor = giver). Hydrogen is the reducing agent in this reaction. It absorbs the oxygen and thus ensures the successful transfer of oxygen. The reducing agent is also called the oxygen acceptor (recipient).

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$ Oxidation ~ = oxygen uptake: ~ substance + oxygen \ rightarrow oxide $

$ Reduction ~ = release of oxygen: ~ oxide \ rightarrow substance + oxygen $

$ Redox reaction ~ = oxygen transfer: ~ oxidizing agent + reducing agent \ rightarrow oxide + reduced substance $

The redox reaction is a process in which oxygen is both released and absorbed. The point is to separate an oxidized substance from the bound oxygen. This is very important in industry. The example chosen above shows how oxidized copper can be returned to its pure form.

Now you know everything you need to know about the processes during a redox reaction and you know the most important terms that are needed for it. You can now share your newly learned knowledge with ours Exercises test out. We wish you a lot of fun and success!

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