In the reaction: #2H_2(g) + O_2(g) -> 2H_2O(g)#, what is the oxidizing agent?

1 Answer
May 9, 2016

Answer:

The oxidizing agent is elemental oxygen.

Explanation:

And of course, the reducing agent is elemental hydrogen. Redox reactions may be formalized by notions of electron transfer, and assignment of oxidation states.

Elemental oxygen goes from oxidation state #0# to #-II#, and is therefore REDUCED; it formally gains electrons. Elemental hydrogen goes from oxidation state #0# to #+I#; it formally loses electrons, and is therefore OXIDIZED.