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Iron oxidized, forming rust

Oxidation is any chemical reaction that involves the moving of electrons. Specifically, it means the side that gives away electrons.

When iron reacts with oxygen it forms a chemical called rust. The iron is oxidized and the oxygen is reduced.

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.[1] the loss of Hydrogen atoms and gain of oxygen atoms is known as oxidation.

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