# How do acid-base reactions differ from oxidation-reduction (or redox) reactions?

Sep 20, 2016

Formally, acid-base reactions involve proton transfer........

#### Explanation:

........whereas redox reactions involve a formal change in oxidation state.

For Bronsted acids, we could simply write:

$H X + M O H \rightarrow M X + {H}_{2} O$;

i.e. $\text{Acid + base " rarr " salt and water}$

Redox reactions involve a change in oxidation state, and FORMAL transfer of electrons. For hydrocarbon combustion:

$C {H}_{4} + 2 {O}_{2} \rightarrow C {O}_{2} + 2 {H}_{2} O$

${C}^{- I V}$ has been oxidized to ${C}^{+ I V}$; i.e. carbon has formally lost 8 electrons. Zerovalent oxygen has been reduced to ${O}^{- I I}$; i.e. the oxygen atoms on the products have formally gained 8 electrons, thereby they are reduced.