When rusting happens, oxygen steals electrons from iron.
CO( g ) H2O( g cO2( g ) H2( g as can be seen in the figure below, the total number of electrons in the valence shell of each atom remains constant in this reaction.Oxidation-reduction: An atom or compound will steal electrons from another atom or compound in this type of reaction.The Relative Strength of Metals as Reducing Agents We can determine the relative strengths of a pair of metals as reducing agents by determining whether a reaction occurs when one of these metals is mixed with a salt of the other.Any metal can be oxidized; however, some are more easily stripped of their electrons than others.It is misleading, for example, to assume that aluminum bromide contains Al3 and Br- ions.Opposites attract, so they combine and form hydrogen fluoride.3 Na( l ) AlCl3( l ) 3 NaCl( l ) Al( l ) If sodium is strong enough to reduce Al3 salts to aluminum metal and aluminum is strong enough to reduce Fe3 salts to iron metal, the relative strengths of these reducing agents.Thus, H2 is the reducing agent in this reaction, and CuO acts as an oxidizing agent.This conclusion was reinforced by the observation that the volume of air decreases by a factor of 1/5th when phosphorus burns in a limited amount of air.If we assume that CH4 contains C4- and H ions, for example, the oxidation numbers of the carbon and hydrogen atoms would be -4 and.The reaction between magnesium metal and oxygen, for example, involves the oxidation of magnesium.This is referred to as electronegativity.
This problem becomes even more severe when we turn to the chemistry of the transition metals.
The Process of, oxidation.
2 Al( s ) Fe2O3( s ) Al2O3( s ) 2 Fe( l ) By assigning oxidation numbers, we can pick out the oxidation and reduction halves of the reaction.