Oxidation is a chemical reaction that involves the loss of electrons by an atom, ion, or molecule. It is a fundamental concept in the study of redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions, which are essential to a wide variety of chemical and biological processes. In oxidation, the oxidizing agent accepts the electrons lost by the species being oxidized, resulting in an increase in its oxidation state.
The term "oxidation" originally referred to reactions involving oxygen, but it now encompasses all reactions where electrons are lost, regardless of the presence of oxygen. Oxidation reactions often involve the formation of new bonds or the breaking of existing ones, leading to the generation of various chemical products.
Chemistry Terms Related to Oxidation
- Redox Reaction
- Oxidizing Agent
- Reducing Agent
- Oxidation State
- Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP)
- Electron Transfer
Sources & References
- Oxidation and Reduction. (n.d.). Chemistry LibreTexts.
- Oxidation-Reduction Reactions. (n.d.). Khan Academy.
Oxidation: Questions & Answers
What is the definition of oxidation?
Oxidation is a chemical process in which an atom or ion loses electrons, often by combining with oxygen, resulting in an increase in the oxidation number.
What is a redox reaction?
A redox reaction is a type of chemical reaction that involves the transfer of electrons from one species to another.
What is an electron?
An electron is a negatively charged subatomic particle that orbits around the nucleus of an atom.
How do you define oxidation and reduction in terms of electron transfer?
Oxidation refers to the loss of electrons, while reduction refers to the gain of electrons. These processes occur simultaneously in redox reactions, with electrons being transferred from the oxidized species to the reduced species.
Can you give an example of oxidation?
When iron reacts with oxygen in the presence of water, the iron atoms lose electrons, resulting in the formation of rust. This is an example of oxidation.
What is a reduction reaction?
A reduction reaction involves the gain of electrons by an atom or ion, resulting in a decrease in the oxidation number.
How does the oxidation process occur?
The oxidation process occurs when a species loses electrons to another species, often involving oxygen or hydrogen.
How do oxidation and reduction occur?
Oxidation and reduction occur simultaneously in redox reactions, with electrons being transferred from the oxidized species to the reduced species.
What is meant by the term "oil rig" in relation to oxidation and reduction?
"Oil rig" is an acronym that stands for "oxidation is loss, reduction is gain." This phrase is often used to help remember the definitions of oxidation and reduction.
What is the difference between oxidation and reduction in terms of electrons?
Oxidation involves the loss of electrons, while reduction involves the gain of electrons.