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12-Apr-2018 15:10

The idea that oxidizing agents and reducing agents are linked, or coupled, is why they are called conjugate oxidizing agents and reducing agents. The active metals in Group IA, for example, give up electrons better than any other elements in the periodic table.

Conjugate comes from the Latin stem meaning "to join together." It is therefore used to describe things that are linked or coupled, such as oxidizing agents and reducing agents. The fact that an active metal such as sodium is a strong reducing agent should tell us something about the relative strength of the Na ion must be a weak reducing agent.

The term reduction comes from the Latin stem meaning "to lead back." Anything that that leads back to magnesium metal therefore involves reduction.

The reaction between magnesium oxide and carbon at 2000C to form magnesium metal and carbon monoxide is an example of the reduction of magnesium oxide to magnesium metal.

The term oxidation was originally used to describe reactions in which an element combines with oxygen.

Example: The reaction between magnesium metal and oxygen to form magnesium oxide involves the oxidation of magnesium.

The chemistry of magnesium oxide, for example, is easy to understand if we assume that Mg O contains Mg ions. There is experimental evidence, for example, that the true charge on the magnesium and oxygen atoms in Mg O is 1.5 and -1.5.

Oxidation states provide a compromise between a powerful model of oxidation-reduction reactions based on the assumption that these compounds contain ions and our knowledge that the true charge on the ions in these compounds is not as large as this model predicts.

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is reduced to iron metal, which means that aluminum must be the reducing agent.

An important feature of oxidation-reduction reactions can be recognized by examining what happens to the copper in this pair of reactions.

The first reaction converts copper metal into Cu O, thereby transforming a reducing agent (Cu) into an oxidizing agent (Cu O).

Because a reducing agent is always transformed into its conjugate oxidizing agent in an oxidation-reduction reaction, the products of this reaction include a new oxidizing agent (Al) and a new reducing agent (Fe).

Since the reaction proceeds in this direction, it seems reasonable to assume that the starting materials contain the stronger reducing agent and the stronger oxidizing agent.

is reduced to iron metal, which means that aluminum must be the reducing agent.An important feature of oxidation-reduction reactions can be recognized by examining what happens to the copper in this pair of reactions.The first reaction converts copper metal into Cu O, thereby transforming a reducing agent (Cu) into an oxidizing agent (Cu O).Because a reducing agent is always transformed into its conjugate oxidizing agent in an oxidation-reduction reaction, the products of this reaction include a new oxidizing agent (Al) and a new reducing agent (Fe).Since the reaction proceeds in this direction, it seems reasonable to assume that the starting materials contain the stronger reducing agent and the stronger oxidizing agent.The second reaction converts an oxidizing agent (Cu O) into a reducing agent (Cu).