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Oxidizing and Reducing Agents

Introduces oxidizing and reducing agents and redox half reactions.

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Oxidizing and Reducing Agents

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Recall that in redox reactions, oxidation and reduction come hand in hand, that one cannot occur without the other.

In redox reactions, an oxidizing agent is a substance that causes oxidation by accepting electrons. In other words, an oxidizing agent is being REDUCED, despite its name.

Similarly, a reducing agent is a substance that causes reduction by donating electrons and is in fact being OXIDIZED.

Tip: Try remembering that an "agent" does something for someone else. So the oxidizing agent is helping another substance with its oxidation, while the reduction agent is helping another substance with its reduction.

Can a reaction proceed with one oxidizing agent and no reducing agents? Why or why not? If yes, identify which substance is being oxidized and which is being reduced.

For guidance in answering the above question or for more information, look here.

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