What does the oxidizing agent do in a redox reaction?

1 Answer
Jan 12, 2017


It formally accepts electrons, and thus it is REDUCED in a redox equation.


A typical oxidizing agent features a metal in a high oxidation state, for example #"MnO"_4^-#, where we have #"Mn(VII+)"#. I like this reagent, because it has an intense purple colour, and when you perform a redox titration it is typically reduced to COLOURLESS #Mn^(2+)#, and thus such a redox titration is self-indicating:

#"MnO"_4^(-) +"8H"^(+) + 5e^(-) rarr "Mn"^(2+) + 4"H"_2"O"#

And when you write such a redox reaction, the two questions you gots to be asking yourself, are (i) is mass balanced, and (ii) is charge balanced? Well, is it?