Oxidation-Reduction Reaction - Research Article from World of Earth Science

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Oxidation-Reduction Reaction

Oxidation-reduction reactions are significant to many geochemical reactions (e.g., the production of natural gas). In addition, oxidation-reduction reactions are critical in many carbon-based biological processes.

The term oxidation was originally used to describe reactions in which an element combines with oxygen. In contrast, reduction meant the removal of oxygen. By the turn of this century, it became apparent that oxidation always seemed to involve the loss of electrons and did not always involve oxygen. In general, oxidation-reduction reactions involve the exchange of electrons between two species.

An oxidation reaction is defined as the loss of electrons, while a reduction reaction is defined as the gain of electrons. The two reactions always occur together and in chemically equivalent quantities. Thus, the number of electrons lost by one chemical species (a variation of an element or chemical compound) is always equal to the number of electrons gain...

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This section contains 504 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Oxidation-Reduction Reaction from World of Earth Science. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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