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Oxidation is the opposite of reduction. A reduction reaction always comes together with an oxidation reaction. Oxidation and reduction together are called redox (reduction and oxidation). Oxygen does not have to be present in a reaction, for it to be a redox reaction.
In terms of oxygen transfer
Oxidation is gain of oxygen. Reduction is loss of oxygen. For example:
- Fe2O3 + 3CO ---> 2Fe + 3CO2
Both reduction and oxidation go on side-by-side: this is a redox reaction. the loss of Hydrogen atoms and gain of oxygen atoms is known as oxidation.