2010-04-23 Half Reactions.docx

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Brock University
Aboriginal Studies
Daniel Glenday

Half Reactions and Oxidation Numbers Assign oxidation numbers to the following: a) Hg (e) PbI 2 (i) CrO 3-2 b) Ag +1 (f) K 2r 2 7 (j) Al2O 3 c) FeO (g) - NiO (k) CaCO 3 d) KClO 3 (h) BrO 3 (l) NaNO 3 Half Reactions In order for one chemical species to be oxidized, another must be reduced. Because of this, we can talk about oxidation and reduction as processes that are done to something or processes that are done by something. The species that is oxidized is called a reducing agent. The species that is reduced is called an oxidizing agent. Although oxidation and reduction happen simultaneously, it’s sometimes useful to write them separately. This involves the use of “half-reactions.” Example: 2 K + I 2 2KI This can be written as two half reactions: The oxidation of potassium: 2 K  2 K + 2 e- The reduction of iodine: I + 2 e  2 I - 2 The potassium is oxidized, therefore it is a reducing agent The iodine is reduced, therefore it is an oxidizing agent. The potassium is oxidized by iodine. (* note: the agent must be a reactant) The iodine is reduced by potassium. **Remember, the word oxidation comes from the word oxygen. Oxygen is a strong oxidizing agent, which means that in many reactions, oxygen will be reduced. WORK: For the f
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