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A substance A substance
that reduced Chemical reaction where oxidation and that oxidized
another reduction occur simultaneously another
substance substance

Oxidation Reduction
(act as reducing agent) (act as oxidizing agent)

Gain oxygen 2Mg + O2 ---> 2MgO Loss oxygen CuO + H2 ---> H2O
Loss Hydrogen H2S + Cl2 ---> HCl + S Gain Hydrogen Br2 + 2HI ---> 2HBr + I2
Loss electron Na ---> Na+ + e Gain electron Cl2 + 2e → 2Cl-
Zn + CuSO4 ---> ZnSO4 + Cu Zn + CuSO4 ---> ZnSO4 + Cu
Increase Oxd. No Decrease Oxd. No
(0) (+2) (+2) (0)

EXAMPLE 1 Rule 1
Magnesium is the oxidation number for
oxidized Oxidising agent
atom and molecule is zero
(gain of oxygen) Cu is oxidising agent
as it causes Mg to
Mg, Ca, C, Cu, Zn, Cl2, O2, H2
be oxidized.

Mg + CuO → MgO + Cu Rule 2

The sum of oxidation number
Reducing agent Reduction of all elements in polyatomic
Mg is reducing agent ions is equal to the charge
as it causes CuO to of the ions
be reduced. Copper(II)
oxide is reduced
NH4+ SO42- MnO4- Cr2O72-
(loss of oxygen)
+1 -2 -1 -2

Rule 3
Na → Na+ + e (loss electron)
The sum of oxidation
Oxidation NaCl is an ionic
numbers of all elements in
compound. It exist
the compound is zero
as Na+ ions and Cl-
2Na + Cl2 → 2NaCl Example:
H2SO4 KMnO4 SO2 K2Cr2O7
0 0 0 0
Cl2 + 2e → 2Cl- (gain electron)

Rule 4
Calculate the oxidation numbers for the underlined elements.
(i) SO2 [compound] (ii) S2O32- [polyatomic ion] the oxidation number for
1(x) + 2(-2) = 0 2(x) + 3(-2) = -2 monoatomic ion is equal to
x - 4 = 0 2x - 6 = -2 its charge
x = +4 x = (-2 + 6) /2 Example:
H+ Fe2+ Cr3- O2- N3-
Type 1: Redox reaction involves Fe ion and ion Fe ion = +2
2+ 3+ x

Thus; Oxidation number of S in SO2 Thus; +1 +2 -1 -2 -3

= +4 Oxd. number of S in S2O32- = +2
Others oxidizing agents Others reducing agents
Oxidation (loss e-) that can replaced bromine that can replaced zinc:
Reducing water: - Magnesium, Mg
agent - Chlorine water, Cl2 - Sulphur dioxide, SO2
- Acidified potassium - Hydrogen sulphide,
Fe2+ Fe3+ manganate(VII), H 2S
KMnO4 - Sodium sulphide
Oxd. - Acidified potassium solution, Na2SO3
agent dichromate(VI),
Reduction (gain e-)

Change of iron (II) ions to iron (III) ions

Iron (II) solution change Brown colour of bromine water
colour from green to brown Bromine decolourised.

 Bromine water oxidizes Fe2+ ions  Electron released are accepted by

to Fe3+ ions bromine molecules
 Causing Fe2+ release one electron  Its undergo reduction to form
bromide ions, Br-
Fe2+ → Fe3+ + e
Br2 + 2e → Br-
Ionic equation: (reduction)
Fe acts as reducing agent because it 2Fe2+ + Br2 → Fe3+ + Br- Br2 acts as oxidizing agent because it
reduced Br2 to Br- oxidized Fe2+ to Fe3+ ions

Change of iron (III) ions to iron (II) ions

Observation Observation

Zn powder dissolved in Iron (III) solution change

solution Fe2(SO4)3 Zinc colour from brown to green

 Zinc atom lose electrons to Fe3+  Zinc powder reduced Fe3+ ions to
 Its undergo oxidation to form zinc Fe2+ ions
ions, Zn2+  Fe3+ accept one electron from
Zn → Zn2+ + 2e-
(oxidation) Fe3+ + e → Fe2+
Ionic equation:
2Fe3+ + Zn → 2Fe2+ +Zn2+
Zinc acts as reducing agent because it
reduced Fe3+ to Fe2+ ions Fe3+ acts as oxidising agent because
it oxidized Zn to Zn2+
Type 2: Displacement of metal from its salt solution

Metal dissolve K Na Ca Mg Al Zn Fe Sn Pb H Cu Ag Au
/become thinner

Metal X + Salt Y Salt X + Metal Y


Observation: More a electropositive metal will displace a

Metal dissolve metal less electropositive metal from its
/become thinner solution

Ionic Equation:
The copper(II) ions are  Zinc is more electropositive than
Mg + Cu2+ Mg2+ + Cu
taken out from the solution to copper ( zinc is in higher position
form copper metal . than copper in electrochemical
Cu2+ (aq) + 2e → Cu (s)
 Zinc displaced copper from
Copper(II) ions are reduced. copper(II) sulphate solution.
The blue colour of copper(II)sulphate
solution fades. Zn(s) → Zn2+(aq) + 2e

 Zinc is oxidised

Type 3: Displacement Halogen from its halide solution

 A more reactive halogen displaces a less reactive halogen F2 Cl2 Br2 I2

from its aqueous
F2 halide
Cl2 solution.
Br2 I2
 The more reactive halogen has a higher tendency to gain LESS ELECTRONEGATIVE
electron. /REACTIVE

Chlorine Bromine Bromine

water water water

Potassium Potassium Potassium

bromide bromide bromide
Chlorine act as oxidizing agent Bromine act as oxidizing agent
 Chlorine undergo reduction  Bromine undergo reduction

Cl2 + 2KBr 2KCl + Br2 Br2 + 2KI 2KBr + I2

Br2 + 2KI 2KBr + I2
Bromine ion undergo oxidation Iodide ion undergo oxidation
 Potassium bromide act as  Potassium iodide act as reducing  Bromine cannot displace
reducing agent agent chlorine from sodium
Observation: Observation: chloride
Yellow solution of chlorine Brown solution ofbromine  Bromine is less
decolorized decolorized electronegative than chlorine
Colourless solution of potassium Colourless solution of potassium
bromide turn to brown bromide turn to brown