Redox facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Redox Halves
The two parts of a redox reaction
Rusting iron
Large bonfire
A bonfire. Combustion consists of redox reactions involving free radicals.

Redox (shorthand for reduction/oxidation) describes all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed.

The term redox comes from the two concepts of reduction and oxidation. It can be explained in simple terms:

  • Oxidation describes the loss of electrons by a molecule, atom or ion
  • Reduction describes the gain of electrons by a molecule, atom or ion

Which gains and loses electrons can be easily memorised by the abbreviation OIL RIG, which stands for, "Oxidation Is Loss," or losing electrons, and "Reduction Is Gain," or gaining electrons.

But there are exceptions.

Chemical process

Redox is a chemical process. It can be described within chemical formulas. This example describes the process that occurs in a blast furnace, where iron (Fe) reacts with carbon (C):

\mathrm{1) \ C + O_2 \longrightarrow CO_2}
\mathrm{2) \ CO_2 + C \rightleftharpoons 2 \ CO}
\mathrm{3) \ Fe_2O_3 + 3 \ CO \longrightarrow 3 \ CO_2 + 2 \ Fe}
Now elementary iron has been processed.

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Redox Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.