What is Oxidation and Reduction?
Oxidation and Reduction : Most people are familiar with oxidation as it pertains to the rusting of metals. Oxygen grabs electrons from iron to form the oxide, rust. However, there is a broader definition: oxidation is a is a process where electrons are lost in a chemical reaction, whether or not the chemical involved is oxygen. The reverse process, where electrons are added in a chemical reaction, is called reduction.
An oxidizing agent is an electron acceptor and a reducing agent is an electron donor. Obviously, for one substance to be oxidized, another must be reduced. Oxidation-reduction reactions are also called redox reactions. The substance that becomes reduced is an oxidizing agent, and the one that becomes oxidized is the reducing agent.