What happens to an oxidizing agent during a redox reactions?

1 Answer
Jun 16, 2017

Answer:

The oxidizing reagent is FORMALLY reduced.......

Explanation:

Redox reactions are conceived to occur on the basis of CONCEPTUAL electron transfer, and typically we write out separate redox processes.........

For oxidation of methane we could write...........

#stackrel(-IV)" CH"_4(g) +2H_2O rarrstackrel(+IV)"CO"_2(g)+"4H"^+ +8e^(-)# #(i)#

And for every oxidation, there must be a corresponding reduction; here of dioxygen gas to water..........

#stackrel(0)O_2(g) + 4H^+ +4e^(-)rarr2H_2stackrel(-II)O# #(ii)#

And this is the FORMAL reduction reaction. Oxygen decreases in oxidation number, and it has FORMALLY GAINED electrons.....

#stackrel(0)O_2+4e^(-) rarr 2stackrel(-II)O""^(2-)#

And add the two half equation together.......so that we eliminate the electrons: #(i) + 2xx(ii)#

#stackrel(0)CH_4(g) +2stackrel(0)O_2(g) rarrstackrel(+IV)"CO"_2(g)+2H_2O(g)#

Of course, I am making a meal of it here; I could simply follow the usual rigmarole and (i) balance the carbons, (ii) balance the hydrogens as water, and (iii) balance the oxygens.