The reaction that leads to addition of O, removal of H or removal of electrons during the process is called an oxidation reaction. For example, the ionization of magnesium to form magnesium ion is an oxidation process.
Mg→Mg²⁺ + 2 e⁻
The reaction that leads to addition of H, removal of O or gain of electrons during the process is called a reduction reaction. For example, thermal decomposition of MgOforms Mg and O₂ gas. Here O atom removed from MgOand magnesium ions convert to Mg atoms by gaining two electrons.
The chemical reaction that occurs with both oxidation and reduction reactions is called Redox reaction. For example;
Here the change in oxidation of elements before and after the reaction can be used to determine the oxidation and reduction of the substances.
The reactions in which there is no change in the oxidation state of the atoms before and after the reactions are called metathesis reactions. For example:
The half-reaction method is used to balance the redox reactions. In this method, the oxidation and reduction reactions are separated as half-reactions. Each of the half-reaction is balanced with respect to each atom. The O atom is balanced with the help of H₂Omolecules whereas H atoms are balanced with the help of H⁺ions. If the reaction is conducted in alkaline medium, same number of OH⁻ions are needed to balance hydrogen ions.
In the oxidation number method, first we have to assign the oxidation number to each atom before and after the reaction. The change in oxidation number will decide the oxidation and reduction processes. Next step should be the balancing of electrons for both steps with the balancing of atoms.
Q.1 Which one of the following is an not oxidation reaction?
Answer: b) As there is no change in the oxidation number of any atom.
Q.2 Write the reduction half-reaction of the below reaction:
The Redox reaction can be written in two half-reactions. In the oxidation half-reaction, the oxidized substances must be written whereas reduction represents the decrease in oxidation number.
Thus, the reduction half-reaction must be:
As here the oxidation number of Mn changes from +7 to +2.
Q.3 The given reaction is an example of __________reaction.
a) Redox reaction
b) Reduction reaction
c) Metathesis reaction
d) Combustion reaction
Answer: c) Since there is no change in the oxidation number of any of the atoms during the reaction, therefore it must be a metathesis reaction.
Redox reactions are connected with the electron’s transfer between species or simply put there is a reduced half and an oxidized half and that always occurs simultaneously.
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