# What are oxidation reduction reactions in chemistry?

Feb 9, 2017

Oxidation-reduction is the name given to any reaction that occurs by means of the transfer of electrons between reacting substances.

#### Explanation:

They are also known as "redox" reactions. In this type of reaction:

One substance will be the donor of electrons. The loss of electrons by a substance is called oxidation.

An example of oxidation would be the change of any metal into (positive) ions:

$Z n \rightarrow Z {n}^{2 +} + 2 {e}^{-}$

Another substance must be present to acquire these electrons. The gain of electrons is called reduction.

An example would be the change of chlorine gas into chloride ions:

$C {l}_{2} + 2 {e}^{-}$$\rightarrow 2 C {l}^{-}$

There is no "typical" type of reaction that is an oxidation-reduction reaction - they include combustion of fuels, but also the action of bleach and antiseptics. The reactions that power batteries are redox reactions as well. So, they span a very wide range of different types of reactions that all occur because of electron transfer.