What does oxidizing mean in chemistry?

1 Answer
Feb 6, 2017

Answer:

It may mean one of two things: (1) reacting with oxygen to form oxides, or (2) getting a higher oxidation state.

Explanation:

(1) Example:
#2Cu+O_2->2CuO#

(2) Example:
#Cu^(2+)+3I^(-) ->CuI+I_2#,
where part of the #I^-# is lifted from level #-1# to level #0#
(and the copper is reduced from #+2# to #+1#)

Note:
(2) is a more embracing definition, as example (1) is also a lifting of copper from level #0# to level #+2# (and a reduction of #O# from level #0# to #-2#).

Against every oxidation there is an equivalent reduction .