An oxidizing agent (oxidant), gains electrons and is reduced in a chemical reaction. It is also known as electron acceptor. The oxidizing agent is usually in one of its higher possible oxidation states as it will gain electrons and be reduced.
An oxidizing agent (often referred to as an oxidizer or an oxidant) is a chemical species that tends to oxidize other substances, i.e. cause an increase in the oxidation state of the substance by making it lose electrons.
- They are chemical substances whose atoms remove at least one electron from another atom in a chemical reaction.
- An oxidizing agent is a substance that transfers at least one electronegative atom to a chemical species in a chemical reaction.
Common examples of oxidizing agents are listed below
- Halogens (such as chlorine and fluorine)
- Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
- Potassium nitrate
- Nitric acid
A reducing agent (reductant), loses electrons and is oxidized in a chemical reaction. It is typically in one of its lower possible oxidation states and is known as an electron donor. A reducing agent is oxidized because it loses electrons in the redox reaction.
A substance which loses electrons to other substances in a redox reaction and gets oxidized to the higher valency state is called a reducing agent.
- A reducing agent is one of the reactants of an oxidation-reduction reaction which reduces the other reactant by giving out electrons to the reactant.
- If the reducing agent does not pass electrons to other substance in a reaction, then the reduction process cannot occur.
Common examples of reducing agents are listed below
- Sodium -Na
- Zinc- Zn
- Al and non-metals such as C, S, H2.
- Hydracids such as HCl, HI, HBr, H2S
- Formic acid
- Sulfite compounds