The reduction is a chemical process that includes gaining of electrons. For instance rusting of iron, burning of combustible substance, fading of colour from clothes are much more such examples can be witnessed in our daily life that illustrates reduction.
The net charge of an atom is reduced when a -very charged atoms are added to an atom. That is when a fluorine atom comprises an equal number of negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons than the total charge will be equal to 0. When a fluorine atom gains an electron it poses a new charge -1.
The above reaction illustrates the reduction reaction. Here when the carboxylic acid is treated with aluminium hydride they are reduced to the primary alcohol. The carboxylic acid will not be reduced by sodium borohydride.
Why does Reduction Take Place?
Atoms will be fighting hard to maintain a balance between negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons. When these atoms lack electrons they eventually grab electrons from a nearby source to attain electrical satisfaction. Certain electronic configuration is favorable well certain are not. In Order to attain a state of ideal electron configuration atoms let go the need to be neutrally charged.
Favorable electron configuration state is achieved when an atom has achieved a full octet. Some of the elements are near to achieve favorable electronic configuration resulting in a reduction of elements. The reduction process can be attained very easily for these elements and they include bromine, oxygen, fluorine and chlorine.
In the above diagram, figure one represents element Fluorine which possesses 7 electrons. At this stage, the element is neutrally charged. Figure two illustrates the gaining of the electron by fluorine. At this stage, the element is reduced. The figure represents a fluorine atom that has been reduced and comprises of the full octet.