Redox Reaction

Definition - What does Redox Reaction mean?

Redox reaction is an abbreviation of "oxidation-reduction reaction," which occurs on the surface of metals. This is the gain and transfer of electrons whenever two dissimilar atoms interact, especially in ionic bonding. These two reactions occur simultaneously and they are known to be inseparable — as one atom loses an electron, the other gains an electron, hence completing the redox cycle. When the reactions happen separately, they are known as half-reactions. When the half-reaction equations are combined, the resultant equation is known as the redox equation.

Corrosionpedia explains Redox Reaction

In the oxidation process, an atom loses its electrons and obtains a charge that corresponds to the adjustment of the oxidation number. The atom or substance that facilitates the oxidation reaction is known as the oxidizing agent.

A reduction reaction is achieved whenever an atom gains electrons and obtains a charge which is a reduction of the oxidation number. The atom or element that initiates a reduction reaction is known as the reducing agent.

In order to understand redox reactions, one has to have an in-depth knowledge of the oxidation numbers of the atoms involved so that the product can be determined. Redox reactions are used in the process of presenting the entire reaction in the form of equations. Redox reactions can also be used to determine the physical states of the substances that are interacting. It must be noted that the half-reactions of redox reactions occur at the same time, so to suppress redox reactions, the half-reactions must first be balanced.

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