• Many elements simply combine with oxygen to form the oxide of that element.
  • Iron that is exposed to air and water slowly oxidizes in a process known as rusting.
  • Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) releases oxygen as it spontaneously decomposes.
  • It acts as a bleach and an antiseptic that kills bacteria by oxidizing them.
  • The opposite of oxidation is called reduction.
  • Oxidation and reduction must occur together.
  • Neither can happen alone in a reaction.
  • The reverse of the ethanol → acetaldehyde reaction shown above is a reduction reaction.
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