how can we determine that the compound is a reducing agent or oxidizing agent??

Asked by Samson Shaji Varghese | 28th Nov, 2014, 02:42: PM

Expert Answer:

An oxidizing agent, or oxidant, gains electrons and is reduced in a chemical reaction. Also known as the electron acceptor, the oxidizing agent is normally in one of its higher possible oxidation states because it will gain electrons and be reduced.

A reducing agent, or reductant, loses electrons and is oxidized in a chemical reaction. A reducing agent typically is in one of its lower possible oxidation states and is known as the electron donor. A reducing agent is oxidized because it loses electrons in the redox reaction.

For example: Consider following reaction,

Cl2(aq) + 2Br(aq) → 2Cl(aq) + Br2 (aq)


Oxidation half reaction: 2Br (aq) → Br2 (aq)

Reduction half reaction: Cl2 (aq) → 2Cl(aq)


Br loses an electron; it is being oxidized from Br to Br2, thus Br is the reducing agent.

Cl2 gains one electron; it is being reduced from Cl2 to 2 Cl, thus Cl2 is the oxidizing agent.

Answered by Arvind Diwale | 28th Nov, 2014, 04:14: PM