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Chem 1036 Redox Reactions

by: Kaitlyn Michaud

Chem 1036 Redox Reactions Chemistry 1046

Kaitlyn Michaud
Virginia Tech

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About this Document

This set of notes goes over what a redox reaction is, and how to balance them. Examples of redox reactions in acidic and basic conditions are included.
General Chemistry
Dr. Neidigh
Class Notes
Chemistry, Chem, chem1036, redox, reaction, Redox reactions, virginia, Tech
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaitlyn Michaud on Sunday April 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Chemistry 1046 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Dr. Neidigh in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see General Chemistry in Chemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Date Created: 04/17/16
REDOX REACTIONS Redox reactions refer to the simultaneous oxidation and reduction of reactants in a chemical reaction.  The substance being reduced gains an electron, and thus is oxidizing the other substance the oxidizing agent.  The substance being oxidized loses an electron, and thus is reducing the other substance  reducing agent. o A helpful pneumonic to remember this is OIL RIG: oxidation is losing; reduction is gaining. Balancing redox reactions can be tricky, and depend on whether you are in acidic or basic conditions. The first step is to write the reaction into 2 separate half reactions: Ex. Cu + 2Ag  Cu 2++ 2Ag Step 1: Our first half reaction: Cu  Cu 2+ (it is already obvious that this is what is being oxidized, since it loses 2 electrons) Step 2: If you have oxygens or hydrogens to balance, add H2O or H+ (not relevant to this example) Step 3: Balance electrons: Since we have 2 more electrons on our reactants side, we add 2 elections to the products. 2+ Cu  Cu + 2e- (See how by adding 2 electrons to the 2+ charge, the charge is now neutral and equal to the Cu on the reactants.) SECOND HALF REACTION 1e +2Ag  2Ag Notice how our 2 half reactions have different numbers of electrons. You want the SAME number of electrons, so you have to multiply each reaction by the least common factor (1e- + 2Ag+  2Ag) x2 + 2e- + 4A2+ 4Ag These are the 2 complete half reactions. Cu  Cu + 2e- Now that we have equal electrons, we can cancel them. Combining our half reactions to one complete reaction: 2+ Cu + 4Ag+  4Ag + Cu STEPS FOR BALANCING REDOX REACTIONS 1. Assign all oxidation numbers and determine what elements are being oxidized and reduced. 2. Write separate half-reactions for oxidation and reduction 3. Insure that the element being oxidized or reduced is balanced. ********* 4. Multiply reaction(s) by constant(s) so reduction electrons cancel oxidation electrons 5. Add the reactions together. 6. Balance the remaining elements: Acidic solution: a. Balance oxygen by adding H O molecules + b. Balance hydrogen by adding H Basic solution: a. Balance the charge by adding OH − b. Balance hydrogen and oxygen by adding H O 2


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