How do free radicals react?

1 Answer
Oct 23, 2015

They react vigorously.


Because of their odd electrons, free radicals are usually highly reactive. They combine with one another, or with single atoms that also carry free electrons, to give ordinary molecules, all of whose electrons are paired; or they react with intact molecules, abstracting parts of the molecules to complete their own electron pairs and generating new free radicals in the process.

In all these reactions, each simple free radical, because of its single unpaired electron, is able to combine with one other radical or atom containing a single unpaired electron.