An oxidizing agent or oxidant is a substance that gains electrons and is reduced in a chemical reaction. The oxidizing agent is also known as electron acceptor, the oxidizing agent is usually in one of its top probable oxidation states due to the fact that it will gain electrons and be reduced. Examples of oxidizing agents are halogens, potassium nitrate, and nitric acid.
A reducing agent or reductant is a substance that loses electrons and is oxidized in a chemical reaction. A reducing agent is normally in one of its lesser possible oxidation states and is referred to as the electron donor. A reducing agent would normally be oxidized due to the fact that it loses electrons in the redox reaction. Examples of reducing agents are the earth metals, formic acid, and sulfite compounds.
A reducing agent reduces other substances and loses electrons; consequently, its oxidation state will amplify. An oxidizing agent oxidizes other substances and gains electrons consequently; its oxidation state will lessen.
How to balance Oxidation-Reduction Equations
Trial-and-error approaches to balancing chemical equations entails playing with the equation amending the ratio of the reactants and products till the objectives below have been attained.
Objectives for Balancing Chemical Equations
The number of atoms of every element on both sides of the equation is identical and as a result mass is conserved.
The sum of the positive and negative charges ought to be the same on both sides of the equation and consequently charge is conserved. Charge is conserved due to the fact that electrons are neither created nor destroyed in a chemical reaction.