How do you know if it is an oxidation reduction reaction?
Oxidation numbers are theoretical constructs, and have marginal physical significance. Formally, the oxidation number of an element in a compound is the charge the element would have if all the bonding electrons were broken, with the charge assigned to the most electronegative atom.
For the molecule
Thus fluorine is conceived to have an oxidation number of
So if oxidation numbers change upon reaction, electron transfer and redox has occurred. Typically powerful oxidants such as elemental fluorine,
Oxidation of hydrocarbons underpin our civilization. If we look at the combustion of coal, we can write the equation:
The oxidation number of an element is formally