Redox Reactions

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What Are Redox Reactions?

The process of the Redox reactions is generally oxidation-reduction chemical reactions where the reactants experience a conversion in their oxidation states. The word ‘redox’ is a tiny state of reduction-oxidation.

Numerous types of redox reactions can be differentiated into two different procedures; one is known as the reduction process and another is the oxidation process.

These two types of reactions such as the oxidation and reduction reactions happen simultaneously. This kind of chemical reaction is titled as the Oxidation-Reduction Reaction or the redox reaction. 

The material which is continuously reducing in a chemical reaction is recognized as the oxidizing agent. However, a substance that is having oxidation is known as the reducing agent.


Types of Redox Reactions

There are dissimilar types of redox reactions which are enlisted below with description:

  1. Decomposition Reaction

It involves the itemization of a compound into other compounds. Illustrations of these types of reactions are:

Na2CO3 → Na2O + CO2

2H2O → 2H2 + O2

2NaH → 2Na + H2

The reactions given above are the result in the breakdown of smaller chemical compounds in the method of

AB → A + B

As confirmed, there is a singular case that checks that all the decomposition reactions are not redox reactions. 

Such as CaCO3 → CaO + CO2


  1. Combination Reaction

In this category, chemical reactions are contradictory to decomposition reactions and therefore, include the mixture of two compounds to form a single compound in the form of A + B → AB. 

For illustration:

4Fe + 3O2→2Fe2O3

H2 + Cl2 → 2HClC + O2→CO2


  1. Displacement Reaction

This type of reaction consists, an ion or an atom in a compound which is substituted by an atom or an ion of a different element. 

This reaction can be characterized in the form of X + YZ → XZ + Y. 

Example: Cl2 + 2NaBr→ 2NaCl + Br2

  • Metal Displacement Reaction

In metal displacement reaction, a metal existing in the compound is evacuated by another metal. 

These types of reactions find their application in metallurgical processes where pure metals are obtained from their ores.

For example, CuSO4+Zn→Cu+ZnSO4

  • Non-Metal Displacement Reaction

In non-metal displacement reactions, we can discover a hydrogen displacement and sometimes rarely occurring reactions involving oxygen displacement.


  1. Disproportionation Reactions

Here, in disproportionation reactions, the solitary reactant is oxidized and diminished.

For illustration: P4 + 3H2O + 3NaOH → PH3 + 3NaH2PO2


Explain Redox Reaction

Reduction reactions are just like oxidation reactions. The reduction reaction can be simply stated as the increase in electrons in any material. 

Any material that increases electrons at the time of a chemical reaction gets decreased.


Redox Reaction Example

These are some examples given below to elaborate on the redox reaction

  • Zinc and Copper Reaction

In this metal displacement reaction, the copper metal results when zinc relocates the Cu2+ ion in the copper sulfate solution as presented in the reaction below.

CuSO4 + Zn → ZnSO4 + Cu

Zn → Zn2+ + 2e= The oxidation half-reaction 

Cu2+ + 2e → Cu = The reduction half-reaction

(Image to be added soon)


  • Hydrogen and Fluorine Reaction

As we can see, hydrogen and fluorine combine to form a reaction, where the hydrogen is oxidized and the fluorine is reduced. 

F2 + H2→ 2HF

The oxidation half-reaction = H2 → 2e+ 2H+ 

The reduction half-reaction = 2F → 2e + F2  

Hydrogen fluoride is produced as the hydrogen and the fluorine ions undergo a chemical reaction.


  • Iron and Hydrogen Peroxide Reaction

As mentioned, in the equation below, the Fe2+ ion is oxidized to Fe3+ with the help of hydrogen peroxide in the presence of an acid. 

The reaction is: 2Fe2+ + 2H+ + H2O2 → 2H2O + 2Fe3+

Fe2+ → Fe3+ + e = Oxidation half-reaction

2 OH→ H2O2 + 2e  = Reduction half-reaction 

Therefore, the hydroxide ion is created from the reduction of hydrogen peroxide joined with the proton given by the acidic medium to produce water.


Application of Redox Reaction

  • The leading cause of oxidation is oxygen. The redox reaction or oxidation-reduction reactions are one of the prime reasons behind food spoilage. 

  • Some vital chemical manufactures also rely on electrolysis. In another way, we can say that they are dependent on redox reactions. 

Numerous chemicals like caustic soda, chlorine, etc. are developed using redox reactions.

  • Sanitizing water and bleaching materials are also the results of the Oxidation-Reduction reactions.

  • Several metals surfaces can be secured from weathering by attaching them to sacrificial anodes which come under corrosion. 

A popular illustration of this procedure is the galvanization of steel.

  • The oxidation process is involved with the industrial production for cleaning equipment.

  • The oxidation reaction of ammonia produces Nitric acid, which is an element of many fertilizers.

  • A procedure called Electroplating uses redox reactions to put on a thin coating of a material on an object. 

This method is widely known for the making of gold-plated jewellery.

  • Several metals are removed from their ores via redox reactions. 

The best illustration is the metal sulfides’ smelting in the existence of reducing agents.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is There Any Possibility of a Combination Reaction Becoming a Redox Reaction?

Yes, it is possible. A combination reaction can be a redox reaction. In this reaction, two elements are formed together to make a single product in a combination reaction. 

In this case, reduction of oxygen can be seen as the transfer of electrons from hydrogen to oxygen as null. Also, the oxidation of hydrogen is taking place because of the taking of electrons by oxygen from hydrogen. 

2. Describe the Category of a Reaction That Is Always Taken as the Redox Reaction?

The matching sets of reactions are under Redox reactions. In a reaction, where one element is oxidized, another must be reduced. We need to remember that there are five important types of redox reactions such as decomposition, combination, combustion, displacement and disproportion.

3. What Happens in a Reaction; Oxidation or Reduction. Give Your Opinion.

In a chemical reaction, oxidation numbers denote the potential charge of an atom in its ionic state. With the decrease in an atom's oxidation number, the reaction will be reduced. If there is a rise of the atom's oxidation number, it will be oxidized.

4. Any Chance of a Reaction That Will Be Both Redox and Precipitation?

The redox reaction can only be possible when the number of electrons of an element changes, which means the change of the oxidation state is necessary. 

The ultimate truth about the charges is they roam around in both acid or base and precipitation, but states of oxidation don't alter.