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Oxidation

Synonyms

Keywords

Electron donor, reducing agent, reductive

Definition

Oxidation can be defined with different terms such as: the loss of electrons or hydrogen, or the gain of oxygen by an atom or a molecule.

Overview

Oxidation in Terms of Electron Transfer

Oxidation is the loss of electrons.

For example, in the reaction between iron and copper sulfate solution
copper sulfate and iron sulfate are both ionic compounds. If rewritten as an ionic equation, it turns out that sulfate ions are spectator ions and the reaction can be written as:
where the iron is oxidized from metal iron (Feo) to ferrous iron (Fe2+) by the loss of two electrons:
while the copper (II) ion, gaining two electrons is reduced to copper metal (Cuo). Thus, in the reaction, the reductant or reducing agent loses electrons and is